Thanksgiving dinner is over, and indulging in delicious foods and desserts has left many Canadians looking for ways to reset their eating habits and maybe drop a few pounds.
The current weight loss trends have detoxing and intermittent fasting at the top of the list. Are either of these worth trying? And are they safe?
Lydia Di Francesco, a Workplace Wellness Consultant, doesn’t believe in the use of detox methods.
“Our bodies actually detox every single day and on a regular basis,” said Di Francesco.
“Detoxes are fine as long as you are eating real food,” said Di Francesco.
Di Francesco warns that things start to get troublesome when people starve themselves and are looking for a quick weight loss solutions.
“If you stop eating for a few days, sure you’ll drop the pounds. But it’s usually water weight, and when you start eating again, you’ll likely gain the weight back,” said Di Francesco.
To get permanent weight loss and long-term results, Di Francesco suggests focusing on body fat.
“Eating good healthy fresh food and drinking lots of water does the body good,” said Di Francesco.
Di Francesco says that intermittent fasting can be helpful, and many people see successful results. However, she explains that the restrictive nature of intermittent fasting can be difficult.
“Most people will fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours,” said Di Francesco. “The challenge people have is eating enough food within the eight hours.”
Intermittent fasting requires a person to consume the same number of calories they need in a day inside a shorter time window.
“If you are a man who needs to eat 2500 calories, and if you are a bigger guy- that’s a lot of food in eight hours,” said Di Francesco.
Under-eating and not consuming enough food can also be a problem with intermittent fasting.
According to a study conducted by the NCBI, detoxing and juicing diets can give you weight loss results with reduced calories, but when you return to your regular eating habits, you will most likely gain.
Intermittent fasting is used by many cultures and religions, but the current weight-loss trend came in with mixed results in an NCBI study. They were unable to confirm it is a reliable method of weight loss.
“I like to promote ways of eating that are sustainable,” said Di Francesco.
As another holiday season creeps near, Di Francesco offers her favourite strategies to get through the holidays:
Watch your portion sizes.
There are many flavourful dishes that we only see during the holidays.
“Instead of overflowing my plate with all of the foods. I take a little bit of everything,” she said.
Pick your favourites for round two.
If you find that you are still hungry after your initial meal, try this.
“I go back for seconds but only of my one most favourite or two items. Let’s say I really like the stuffing and the sweet potato with pecans,” she said. “Maybe I’ll have a little bit more of that to get those flavours, but I won’t necessarily restock with a second full plate.”
Wait a few minutes
Di Francesco shares that it takes your brain twenty minutes to realize that it’s full.
“Slow your pace. Drink some water. See if you are actually hungry,” she said.
Lastly, Di Francesco doesn’t believe in guilt or shame around eating.
“Ideally, you are eating healthy on a regular basis. So, one meal out of the month or two meals out of the month of a little more overindulgence is not going to harm you.”