Is the Big Fat Diet Show Telling you the Truth about Calorie Counting?

The Big Fat Diet Show leap onto our screens this week. Unsurprisingly.

January is the most popular time for starting a diet so it's timely that at least one TV channel came up with a show to get the public engaged in dropping a dress size or two.

Described as "one big interactive diet-a-long", Channel 4 give us the Big Fat Diet Show. We follow two weeks diet program with Anna Richardson.

But are they telling you the truth about calorie counting? Isn't there more to it than the 100 Club of portions?

The My Big Fat Diet Show reveals some of the tricks the diet industry and food industry play on us that encourage us to buy fad quick fixes and unhealthy products with supermarket offers and bargain deals.

A clinical psychologist talks through what's behind our obsessions with food that can lead to poor eating habits and weight control.

What's good about the Big Fat Diet show is the way it cuts through the half truths about the food displayed in our shops as 'healthy', for example, low fat, omega enhanced. It certainly reminded me to emphasise the value of using food labels to my clients.

But at the end of the day, it is only about counting calories.

The trick to a successful calorie controlled diet, if there is a trick, is about where those calories come from.

Because if you get most of your calories from refined flour products like bread, biscuits, cakes, sweets, chocolate, pasta, pizza, burgers, yada yada yada ... you're going to get hungry.

Moreover, your energy goes up and down, along with severe cravings for more carbs. (You know you reach for the crisps, chocolate or sweets and biscuits.)

Those high carbs foods seem like 'energy' giving, but they don't sustain you for long.

The 'trick' thing to do is to combine complex carbs with protein in all three of your daily meals and if possible to have 4-5 smaller meals rather than a light breakfast and lunch and large evening meal.

High sugar or refined, simple carbohydrates in confectionery, breads and cakes, give a surge in blood sugar so you get a 'high'.

But it only last 30-60 minutes tops, then you get a real bang low!! So often reach for something more.

On the other hand, eating foods that include complex carbs, like grains, wholemeal, vegetables (except some very 'sweet' veg), will sustain your hunger for 2-3 hours and keep cravings better controlled.

Better still, eat foods that are rich in protein in combination with complex carbs if necessary (e.g. tuna mayo on dark rye crispbread, egg on granary toast, chicken with wholemeal pasta) as meals or snacks, your hungry will last 3-4 hours or more.

And most important, you will start to get your cravings under control.

To avoid the common mistakes, take a look at how starvation low calorie diets are like a financial crisis for your body - see Big Fat Diet Truths about Crash Diets Other pages that will help on your big fat diet are:

  • Fad diets - why they don't work long term

  • Quick weight loss - what you can and can't hurry.

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