Does this sound familiar? You hear about this wonderful diet that will guarantee weight-loss, so you try it, only to gain even more weight back once you’ve lost it?
Don’t feel bad. You are not alone. Just because a diet works for one person, does not mean that it will work for you. Diets are destined to fail, and it should come as no surprise. After all, the word “die” is within the word “diet”. That should be your first sign. You want to live your life.
Here are the top 5 reasons that diets are doomed to fail:
1. People choose to use a diet to achieve a short-term goal. That goal is usually to lose weight before an upcoming event. Diets are perceived from the onset as a temporary action used to obtain an immediate result. Once that result is achieved, the diet is stopped and old eating habits return.
2. The yo-yo diet or weight cycling. As mentioned, many people go on diets, lose weight, and then gain weight, often more than they lost. And, for some reason, the cycle is repeated. To quote Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This repeated failure can have negative effects on a person’s mental health and could result in an eating disorder.
3. Many diets are based on the premise of counting calories using a formula meant for the general population as opposed to the individual. Everybody processes calories differently. This formula supports that caloric expenditure exceeds caloric intake and will therefore promote weight loss. It has become clear that this premise is no longer true. Every calorie is not created equal. Calories consumed from spinach or sweet potatoes are much more nutrient-dense than calories consumed from a processed, low-fat muffin. In addition, if you were to consume too few calories, your body goes into survival mode, slowing down the metabolism. You run the risk of your metabolism remaining sluggish once you start consuming more calories.
4. Before even starting a diet, people believe that they will be depriving themselves of foods they love. Entering into a program with this mindset clearly does not support success. This constant experience of deprivation will bring on food cravings that will be difficult to ignore.
5. This brings me to the last reason why diets do not work. They do not address food cravings and how to handle them. Everyone has cravings. Having the tools to help navigate through those cravings and reach for healthy food alternatives will help to eliminate them.
Unfortunately for many individuals, diets only offer a quick fix to a larger problem. Learning which foods nourish the body and which don’t is the best approach to eating in order to obtain weight-loss and optimal health.
Instead of reaching for the next diet that comes your way, take a deep breath and make a sustainable plan for nutrition moving forward. Start with a well rounded plan that addresses all things: movement, stress reduction, emotional connections, nutrient definicies and what, when and how much you are eating. Tackle little bits at a time. Watch this weeks live to get simple ideas for added daily movement into your busy life. Find a naturopath, holisitic nutritionist or a health coach to guide and support real food changes. Start but start in the right direction that will sustain life long healthy habits!