Weight loss wonderland

It’s January and that is a very intense time for everyone interested in diets and weight loss. This leads us to the topic of fad diets, which, at least here in Sweden, seems to grip the collective consciousness in a very short space of time through both mainstream media and social media.

Sweden is probably quite interesting from the dieting perspective because it’s a small and fairly homogenous country, which means that fad diets, or indeed any kind of trend, spreads very quickly. There is also a rather anxious mind-set, especially in urban areas, which means that people are more inclined to listen to outside “experts” as opposed to trusting their own knowledge and experience.

2013 and 2014 was really dominated by the 5:2 diet, although there was a definite drop during 2014. Before that we had LCHF, GI, Atkins, and lord knows what else. I have written quite a bit about the limitations of dieting, so I will not go into more detail about that, but diets have come and gone for many decades now.

There are many people around the world right now who are seriously trying their best to launch the next diet wonderland, and then make hay while the sun shines. There are many ways of doing this, but sound research has not been one of them, although having a physician as the “inventor” definitely helps. Another good thing to have on-board is a well known celebrity who can go public with some miraculous results.

Ideally, there should also be a kind of magic molecule involved, something new and glitzy, which more or less solves the weight loss mystery. Every now and then, it can also be effective to re-launch a previous diet with a more shiny exterior this time around, such as fasting (5:2), high protein, or something else which has worked in the past.

Since the 5:2 diet slowly faded away last year, I am wondering what the next big diet wonderland is going to be. Personally, I am hoping we get a more balanced way of eating (and exercising) in the future that will make dieting redundant, but this is not very realistic for quite some time yet. If you have a good idea what the next miracle diet is going to be then let me know. Whatever the next big thing is going to be, it is unlikely to be determined by science, and instead by clever and determined marketing and media campaigns.

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‘Tis the dieting season

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It’s January and the weight loss industry is gearing itself up for the most intensive part of their year. Many have gained a little too much perhaps over the holidays and now they are resolved to losing some of it. An improved diet and added exercise can obviously bring many benefits, but if you are really serious about losing weight long-term I have some added suggestions.

First, you should try to understand why you gained the weight to begin with. Unless you understand this you are less likely to keep the weight off long-term. Factors such as stress, negative thoughts and negative emotions usually play a major role in weight gain, it’s not just about overindulgence or a lack of exercise. You need to go a little deeper.

Secondly, keep a diary of your thoughts and emotions, particularly when it comes to situations where you experience negative thoughts and emotions, but also what makes you happy and relaxed. By becoming more aware of what presses your buttons so to speak, you can avoid getting into the same situations again, so that your thoughts and emotions gradually become more positive.

Thirdly, try to have a mindset where you do things, such as weight loss, out of a positive perspective, i.e. as a reward and not as a kind of self-punishment. If you feel like your weight loss regimen is a punishment, it will probably not work very well.

Finally, learn to listen to your body and what is needs, don’t disconnect from it or view it as something dysfunctional. Remember that ┬áthere are always reasons your body has stored extra weight. If you can get to the source of the weight gain, the path to lasting weight loss will be much clearer.