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“You’re the one for me fatty!” (it’s a Morrissey song)

You’re the one for me fatty!

Summer is upon us and that means soaking in any sunshine we can to top up the tan and our vitamin D. Cue the bikinis, speedos, red faces and love handles and of course listening to my favourite song – You’re the one for me fatty!

These public displays of near nudity obviously make us far too aware of what we’ve got far too much of. Only after our indulgences at Christmas and New Year are we so concerned with getting back in shape… and so the quest for a quick fix ensues.

But how do you decide on what method of weight loss to pursue when almost every day we are presented with a new ‘fool proof’ diet, new superfood or told that something that used to be OK isn’t anymore?

High protein, no carbs… zero sugar… the 5:2… Atkins… Paleo… Alkaline diet… and so it confusingly, and sometimes bizarrely, goes on! Is chocolate or red wine good or bad for you now? Who knows?

But the problem I have, with any fad diet in particular, is that they often miss out entire food groups and overlook the fact that our diets need a bit of everything.

Most of these diets consider only a small number of food groups, focusing heavily on a particular role that group plays in our bodies. For our bodies to work effectively, cohesively and efficiently, we need a bit of almost everything. It’s this total combination of foods working with each other that enable our bodies to work how they should. Remove a food group completely and you may inhibit an important process from happening.

Each food we consume doesn’t just give us one benefit and perform one function; it gives us multiple vitamins and nutrients that work collectively with the other processes in our body to function properly. It’s our own internal eco-system, robust and flexible but delicately balanced.

So what DO we do?

Without wanting to sound pious or righteous, there has only ever been one way of losing weight and/or staying healthy; a balanced diet and exercise.

We know now more about how the body works and how foods affect it, and there is more information available to help us to make choices. Our DARE campaign has some great recipes, ideas and information to help us make those choices throughout the whole year. Delicious And Responsible Eating; it’s all about balance and deliciousness!

So if you want to squeeze into your speedos, it’s better to think about how foods affect your body 12 months of the year, and anyway, it’s currently believed that a little extra weight IS healthy, so what’s wrong with a little rubber tyre in the water, it gives extra buoyancy!