Why diets don’t work
February 28, 2017
February 28, 2017
How many diets have you been on in your lifetime?
Too many to count, right?
The problem is that many weight-loss diets simply don’t work and here is why.
Most diets are stressful
Most diets require you to make major changes to your current lifestyle. This is incredibly hard to do long term, given the fact you are going to have to create new habits to replace those old ones. This takes time and many diets don’t take this into account. You may do well for a week or two and then you find yourself face first in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
Most diets leave you feeling deprived and hangry
Many traditional weight loss diets ask you to eat a ridiculously low amount of calories and eliminate all the foods you enjoy. This may work in the short term, but deprivation diets can only work for so long. You will find yourself thinking about that food you have made ‘off limits’ and before you know it, you’re binging on that forbidden food. Deprivation diets aren’t necessary to losing fat. Weight loss will occur in a caloric deficit, so this means that you can still have those foods you enjoy in moderation and still reach your goals. No, you don’t have to eat 800 calories a day to lose fat. Just eat according to your fitness goals and let the magic happen.
Willpower only lasts for so long
Your diet will make you rely on willpower to stay on course. This may work the first week or so, but willpower can only last for so long. You may find that your willpower can be strong one day and weak the next, as life will affect us. Once your willpower is gone, so is the diet.
Diets don’t address the reasons behind emotional eating
I always tell my clients that the food isn’t the issue, what they are running from is. You may be using food to cope with a bad day at the job, a fight with your spouse, or not having to feel uncomfortable emotions. Going on a diet without addressing the emotional issues is futile and will leave you feeling like even more of a failure. If you’re using food as a means to cope, then address that issue first and the food will usually take care of itself.
Diets do nothing to teach you new habits
Most diets have you focusing on a goal, but do nothing to guide you beyond this point. I always tell my clients to ask, “what happens after the diet is over?” before going on one. What will you do after you come off of a crazy low cal diet? HCG diet? low carb diet? what next? many don’t have an answer and find themselves right back where they started, but 10-15 pounds heavier. You must learn new ways of doing things; how you exercise, thoughts about self, and change your relationship with food. This is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix. If your diet doesn’t address habit changes then you will most likely not be very successful.
There is a better way
If diets don’t work, what does? You must commit to making this a lifestyle change, period. Get rid of the black and white thinking and fantasies of dropping 30 pounds in a month. You must set realistic, S.M.A.R.T. goals and be patient. You need to know how many calories you need to take in daily for your specific fitness goal. This means you may have to track your food for awhile so you know exactly how much you’re eating and there are many online apps that can help you do this. I suggest you add strength training to your fitness routine and walk daily. Look for ways in which you can reduce the overall stress in your life as well. Also, the most overlooked thing is sleep. If you’re not sleeping you will most likely have a very hard time losing weight.
These are just some of the ways in which you can begin to make some healthy lifestyle changes. If you need further help, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I know how overwhelming this can be and having a professional help you is often times the kick start you need to a great life.