Baby steps are the way forward to a better diet

Shukrya Saida signs up for further information and vouchers, helped by Shona Green. Picture: Vernon Nash

‘You don’t have to make radical changes’: Healthy food campaigners give out advice in Portsmouth

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Do yourself a favour this year, before you start (with good intentions) on all your new year resolutions. Remember what you told yourself last year.

In fact unless you wrote them down clearly somewhere and filed that entry, the chances are that you can’t even remember.

Did you promise yourself you would finally get fit (whatever that means) or that you would lose an amount of weight that would make you feel and look so much better?

I hear this a lot in my job and this is definitely the key time for people to join a gym or slimming club or to buy into the latest diet craze.

Ask yourself though, if those were on your ‘new year, new you’ list last year, then why are they still here on this year’s list?

Surely if you really wanted to have those things then you would by now, a whole year on.

Well maybe the question you should ask yourself is: What will I do differently to get to my ‘new me’ goals?

You see there is no real point doing the same thing that you did last year if that didn’t work for you. That would just be madness because if you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have now.

The answer is, even if you have the same resolutions as last year, do things differently.

If you joined a slimming club last year and had some success but managed to put weight back on, then don’t do that this year.

If you joined a gym and went regularly for the first six weeks, saw some success but hit a plateau and stopped going, then try something else.

With nutrition it isn’t about a ‘quick fix’ to lose weight, it’s about making small changes to the way you eat and the things you eat.

Baby steps work well and are less of a shock to the system than a fad diet, calorie counting, point counting, cutting out fat etc etc.

I understand how alien a concept not dieting in order to reach a healthy weight might be. It goes against everything we’ve had drummed into us for decades.

But if you’ve decided to free yourself from the tragic fate of another failed new year’s resolution diet and want to understand how your body works then read on.

The trouble with dieting is that it messes about with your body’s natural biological set point for a healthy weight.

This set point is when your body is at its healthiest and your system works around the clock to maintain this.

When you continually diet, your body fights back to retain control. The result is that you end up back at the point at which you started or heavier than your original weight because you are now paying the penalty of messing with your regulatory system with a higher set point (just in case you face another famine any time soon).

When left to its own devices and supported with a nutritionally rich, unrestricted food intake, your body’s weight system is 99.9 per cent effective at regulating your weight consistently over time.

That’s amazing right? And it’s certainly a lot more reliable than most people’s willpower.

Our bodies aren’t designed for processed food, alcohol or nicotine. These in fact are toxic to our system and cause the body to store them in our fat cells, thus making us fatter and sicker.

Stick with food as nature intended, don’t restrict this food but listen to your body and stop eating when you are full. If you eat this way then cravings for sugar hits and lardy stodges decrease but remember the baby steps.

Nikki Caputa is a health and fitness coach who works one-to-one with clients and runs her own fitness camps where she trains groups. Known as FAB Body Bootcamps, two are based in Fareham and one is in Portsmouth. Nikki is also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Visit and Follow Nikki on Twitter @nikkifitmum1.