Monday, July 13, 2009

Why Diets Don't work?

Diets can be very dangerous. If you're looking for a quick-fix, can starve yourself or limit certain elements in your diet. Who doesn't lose weight that way? But can you keep it off?? Everyone always wants to follow the next fad not taking into consideration the consequences that may follow. It's easier to take a pill or starve ourselves psychologically but what happened to living a healthier lifestyle??

It's really quite simple. We as human beings like to make everything complex. If you want to lose weight, stay toned and maintain your lean body mass, you need to incorporate a balanced lifestyle. Going on a "diet" may temporarily give you results but majority of the statistics show you end up gaining more weight than when you originally started!

Keep everything simple, here are a few tips:

- Start off with a good balanced breakfast. Your most important meal of the day should contain lean protein, complex carbs (good carbs with fiber to keep blood sugar low), and veggies or fruit

- eat several meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism steady and KEEP burning calories! the moment you starve yourself, your metabolism drops and your body goes after muscle for fuel. Your body eats away at itself so the more it takes away from muscle, the less calories you are burning!

- Eat dark leafy greens as much as possible throughout the day for fiber intake

- Eat good fats in the form of extra virgin olive oil, unsalted nuts, peanut, almond or soy butter, avocado all in moderation

- Do NOT skimp on carbs!!! There is a huge downfall for many people. If you don't have anough carbs (40%) with your meals, you will still remain hungry and binge later on. Stick with fibrous carbs, whole wheat bread, pasta, beans, sweet potato, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, barley, buckwheat noodles....the good stuff! Eat with your lean protein at least 3 x during the day depending on your level of activity

- you MUST eat lean protein! How else are you going to build the sexy lean muscles? It can come in the form of eggs, egg whites, fish, tofu, veggie products, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, soy products, grilled chicken, turkey, lean red meat,beans, tempeh, seitan, nuts, etc.

- Fruits have simple sugar so better to eat them during the day or right after strength training for recovery

- Limit alcohol consumption. I appreciate a good drink but I won't drink every night, it ALL adds up!

- Same with desserts or your indulgences...we are human and need to live life, but a piece of red velvet cake or nachos every day will not bring you closer to your goals! As my clients have heard many many times...Earn your cheat meal!! You don't need to go crazy. So long as you have been consistent during the week, enjoy your brunch or dinner during the weekend! Or if you know ahead of time you have the wedding, shower or big function to go to, no use eating bad all day long. Work out, eat healthy and you won't feel so guilty afterwards!

- Most importantly..Exercise!!! It's all about balance. If you want to eat something, do so. I love food and I do drink but I will always make sure I put in my work for the week. When you get older, your metabolism doesn't work the way it used to so you have to know how to work within your limitations. Of course, if you want to lose or tone up a few extra pounds, you can certainly do so by being more restrictive and cut out all the bad stuff temporarily.

Never do anything extreme (like a diet). It'll never last. You're better off making healthier choices in life. You will feel a lot better and much more in control. I had my delicious burger and fries yesterday along with some really delicious sangria. Today, I an back on track and doing my kettlebell and cardio training first thing in the morning to burn off all those calories! Don't let it sit in your system. Be good for the rest of the week. This will go a long way rather than a quick-fix.

Cindy Lai Fitness


  1. Can't agree more. The most success I've ever had at losing weight and staying lean was a solid diet of balance and moderation in all things. And amazing to see how weight comes off when I curb my drinking! Thanks for this post Cindy!

  2. I agree as well. Since I started cutting out chocolate and alcohol to a good extent, I have lost a size and feel much better. Good write up!

  3. I love this post. I know that food makes a big difference. Cindy, you helped me cut those drinks back a bit and I notice the difference...moderation! Love reading your blog. Thanks!