Dieting: How to drop a dress size in two weeks
With the party season fast approaching many of us will be looking to shape up and fit into that little black dress over the coming weeks.
Dropping a dress size could be a lot more fun than you think, with calorie counting and charts off the menu.
In her latest book, 2 Weeks in the Fast Lane, top nutritionist and food author Fiona Kirk looked at the diet habits of people who were successful in losing weight, rather than those who gained it.
With 85 per cent of dieters regaining the weight they have lost, Kirk decided to study the 15 per cent who reached their objectives and managed to keep the weight off. It seems that this 'cut to the chase' approach has brought results.
After adding hundreds of interviews and reams of statistics to what she already understood about food and nutrition, her results might turn some of those conventional diet wisdoms upside down. According to Fiona, slimming quickly is possible, but counting the calories rarely works when it comes to dieting success.
Kirk is emphatic on the lessons she learned in her book, especially about denial. "Regular refuelling is absolutely essential if we are to thrive. Food can and should provide a feel good factor that should never be trivialised or denied." she said.
Though she is hesitant on the idea of rapid weight loss, Kirk was not surprised that slimming down could be done without counting the calories or denying ourselves foods like carbohydrates and the odd sweet treat along the way.
Depression and demotivation, things the brain tends to do when hungry, are one of the biggest causes of diet failure, and all the research suggests that when we deny ourselves by too much, our brain simply turns off from the idea of losing weight altogether.
Based on the idea that fat cells in our body don't increase or decrease in number but simply have to be given the tools to encourage them to shrink. The book claims that this does not happen by denying ourselves the nutrients we need.
Top amongst her fat burning tips are plenty of calcium, Omega 3 acids and Astaxanthin, a carotenoid found in pink fish like sea trout and langoustines. Using foods high in Omega 3 oils helps us feel fuller for longer. Recipes using kidney beans, walnuts and chickpeas encourage the regulation of blood sugar levels which in turn encourage the body to store energy as muscle rather than fat.
It is this approach to nutrition rather than strict calorie counting which could be the secret of the books success. The emphasis is not just on food, but on combining food groups with a level of exercise which encourages the body to accelerate the fat burning process and help us slim down.
As someone who's first book was entitled 'So What the F*** Should I Eat', Kirk has gained a reputation for straight talking and as well as advocating plenty of sunlight and sex, the book uses a slightly subtler approach on the subject of motivation.
If you fall off the diet, get back on plan quickly and change the foods to work for you. With her advice being that "negatives do little more than confuse and frustrate most dieters”, it seems beating ourselves up is the last thing we need to get that slimmer figure.