5 Reasons Why Diets Don’t Work
So you feel like you need to lose a few pounds. We’ve all been there. It’s not a great feeling to be uncomfortable in your own skin. By dropping weight you think that you’ll feel better, regain some confidence and maybe even fit into that swimsuit that you wore three summers ago. You’ve kept it in your drawer for a reason!
There are two weight loss options available to you – change your input (your diet) or change your output (your exercise levels). Or you can do both. Most of us choose the diet because it’s a simpler strategy, and we’ve all heard that old quote that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise.
But is going on that diet REALLY a good idea?
I’ve been telling people this for years. Weight loss diets – those untasty, restrictive and depressing eating plans, DON’T WORK. And I’ve got five good reasons to say that.
But before I get into why I think (or know) diets are stupid and pointless, let’s quickly clarify exactly what a diet is.
What is a diet?
While the word ‘diet’ actually means the combination of foods that any living thing puts in its mouth, weight loss diets are different. They are pretty much any way of eating that involves these phrases:
I will eliminate …
I can’t eat after …pm
I have to eat …% protein
I have to be below … calories
I am on the … diet
High protein, sugarless, 5:2, lemon detox, Keto, raw food, Atkins, paleo; the list of diets is endless, but they all share five traits that make every single one not just useless, but almost dangerous.
Here are the reasons that dieting doesn’t work.
1. A short term focus
Diets don’t think long after 1 month. Most are designed to drop weight quickly, which makes you think that they must be working, but they aren’t designed to be sustainable and be with you for a lifetime. You may well hit your goal weight, but will you stay there? For most people, life gets in the way of their calorie counting, intermittent fasting or sugar-free efforts. What if an old friend is in town on a day that you’re supposed to be fasting? What if you’re too busy with the kids to weigh and calorie count your food? Studies have shown that 95% of people who go on a diet GAIN the weight back. 95%?! That means millions people go on diets every year hoping to be that 5%?
The reason only 5% stay at their weight is because all of these diets offer a quick fix, but that’s not what you need. You need a lifestyle change. You need to find a way to eat the right foods whether you’re traveling, pregnant or overworked.
2. Absence makes the heart (or stomach) grow fonder
So your new diet says that you can’t touch cake. Guess what you’ll be craving about 30 minutes into it. It’s natural to want what we can’t have, and weight loss diets always take away the things that we crave more than anything else. Everything is healthy in moderation, so no diet should include foods that are totally out of bounds.
3. Kicked when you’re down
Since we always fail to stick to these totally unreasonable diets, or the diets fail to deliver the results that we want, we can lose self-esteem. Even if you’re one pound off your goal, or you have one tiny cheat snack, black and white weight loss diets will tell you that you’re doing shitty. This means that you mentally beat yourself up over the tiniest slip-ups.
4. Taking the fun out of eating
For most people eating is the one thing in life that always puts a smile on their face. How are you supposed to enjoy it when you’re nibbling on carrots and cauliflower the whole week? Where’s the fun in carefully counting calories before you make your breakfast, or ordering a salad when you meet your friends at a fancy restaurant? Sure, food is your body’s fuel, but it’s also a source of joy and comfort. Eating a meal shouldn’t be a chore.
5. Losing trust in your body
When you were a baby you knew EXACTLY how much you want to eat and when to stop eating. The human body has evolved for millions of years to know when it’s hungry and thirsty. But following a diet will see you ignoring those natural signals, replacing them with pre-set instructions instead. Is this really what your body needs?
What your body needs is for you to give it good food when it’s hungry. It needs you to make wholesome (but still delicious) choices, and eat in moderation. It needs you to accept your body for the beautiful thing that it is, and push back against the unhealthy and unsuccessful diet culture that we’ve all fallen into.
Diets are CRAP and they don’t work. So don’t starve yourself or eat tissue paper to stay thin. Eat well and be active to stay healthy and if you have a hard time learning what eating healthy means FOR YOU. Not for Suzy down the street, not Laura your co-worker - BUT, what is healthy for YOUR body - reach out to me to ask about individual nutrition coaching so I can clear up your confusion ❤️