Everyone wants to lose weight quickly and
keep it off, and there are so many diets out there promising
There's even a diet falsely calling itself the British Heart
Foundation Diet. However, this diet and many like it are just
So, how do you tell the difference between a faddy crash diet
and one which will help you lose weight at a sensible rate and keep
Look out for these common warning signs and dieting
1. Skipping breakfast is a good way to lose weight
Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can make you feel tired and
hungry and more likely to reach for high-fat, high-calorie snacks.
In fact, people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a
healthy weight than those who don’t.
2. Food restrictions
If you eat nothing but celery or oranges all day long for a week
you will, of course, lose weight. But fad diets that drastically
cut calories will quickly become boring and won’t be effective in
the long run. It’s not necessary to starve to lose weight - making
small changes that you can stick to is the key to long-term
3. No treats
Depriving yourself of all the foods you enjoy won’t work. You’ll
eventually give into temptation and abandon your efforts. There's
no harm in allowing yourself a treat now and again.
4. No eating past 8pm
It doesn’t matter when you eat if you are eating too much – a
calorie is a calorie at any time of the day! It's healthier for
your digestive system not to eat a heavy meal before you go to bed
but a late dinner will not make you any fatter than an early one.
5. Lose your belly fat / bingo wings / thunder thighs
As unfair as it may seem, we can’t pick and choose where we gain or
lose weight from. When the body loses fat, it is lost throughout
the body. Focusing on one area of the body when exercising may
develop better muscle tone in that area but it will not remove more
6. Certain foods help you burn fat
No foods can actually help you to burn fat. The important thing is
eating less calories (energy), rather than eating specific foods
that are thought to have special properties.
7. Carbs are fattening
It’s calories that count, and gram for gram carbohydrate has less
than half the calories of fat. However, carbohydrate rich foods can
be high in calories because of the fillings and toppings commonly
added to them – such as creamy sauces on pasta and butter or cheese
on baked potatoes. Some carbohydrate foods, especially wholegrain
versions, are packed full of fibre which can keep hunger at bay.
For example, wholegrain pasta is more filling than white pasta and
will keep you satisfied for longer.
8. No snacking
Eating healthy snacks between meals can actually help you to
control your appetite. Fruit, vegetables, crudites and low fat
yoghurt are great choices.
9. Low fat only?
Replacing fat with other ingredients can still result in a product
with a high calorie content. Don’t be fooled – check the label.
Quantity is also important – you won’t cut back on calories if you
eat twice as much of a low fat product as a full fat one.
10. Intense exercise regimes
Even low intensity exercise will help use up more calories.
Walking, gardening or doing housework can make quite a
Six secrets to weight loss success
Our dietitian Victoria Taylor reveals her top tips for
long-term, sustainable weight loss. Read more