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Sun 16 Feb 2014 12:20 PM

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To diet or not to diet?

Five weeks have passed, resolutions have been made, and the motivation that you once had on New Year’s Eve has somehow dwindled into oblivion says Salma Awwad

To diet or not to diet?

Statistics show that 80 percent of the resolutions made on the big day are broken within the first six weeks and according to the Harris Poll and the Journal of Psychology, the number one item on 2014’s wish list is losing weight.

But unfortunately, it is a commitment that is broken too frequently and people don’t take it seriously anymore.

The fact is diet and wellbeing is not a matter to be taken lightly – no pun intended. Assuming that it’s done in a healthy manner and looked upon as a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix, adjusting your diet can lead to a longer life, higher energy levels, sharper concentration, and an overall improved quality of life.

But the issue is, when food is your life and it’s continuously on your mind, you are prone to gaining weight.  And if your diet calls upon eliminating an entire food group – which most of them do- you are not only bound to fail, but you are harming yourself in the process and depriving your body of the essential nutrients it needs.

Carbohydrates, sugars, fat and animal protein are the three most commonly shunned items on any quick fix scheme.

But all three are essential and can speed up your metabolism if approached in a natural and well portioned way.

I personally experimented with the Dukan diet, which for those who are not familiar, completely prohibits fruits, carbs, sugars and any form of fat until you reach your goal weight. So you basically stick to proteins and vegetables 100 percent of the time. I was withering. My energy levels were practically non-existent and all my thoughts were only on food and nothing else.

Three days in and I decided to say goodbye. No one can function and be productive under such circumstances.

If you think the Dukan sounds restricting, you should look-up the GM diet. Yes, General Motors invented a diet that promises to make you lose 4.5-8kg in a week. And here’s what I learnt: If it sounds too good to be true… It is.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of diets out there. Some are for losing weight, others for gaining weight, lowering cholesterol, living a long and healthy life, etc. Atkins, the Zone, South Beach, the Raw Food Diet, the Mediterranean Diet are just a few. So how can you decide which diet is right for you?

Even with all these inventive approaches to manipulating your eating habits, there is still no magic pill out there. So stop searching for one. You need to do this the right way, be informed about what you are about to undertake and most importantly, listen to your body. It will always tell you what you need.

Kayzed 5 years ago

I do listen to my body - and all I hear is "I need chocolate" !

who2 5 years ago

Sadly I hear the same voices Kayzed. All the time.

Do they get louder and more frequent just because I am getting older I wonder?

Shamira Mitha 5 years ago

It is best to eat by your blood type. Following this diet is miraculous. Generic diets don't always work as certain foods are not good for the individual's blood type.