From Atkins to Weight Watchers or from Paleo to Vegan, we’re sure you have heard of many different ways to lose weight and many different promises of shedding pounds from these no-fail diets. We are also sure you have heard of success stories, have heard many women say that they have followed Weight Watchers, and they count their points and it has worked in their favour. But the question is, years down the road are those people still counting points? And have those people maintained their weight loss? For some, maybe, for few, yes and for a whopping majority…. the answer is a resounding NO.
Here, us Naughty Nutritionists are going to tell you something you most likely don’t want to hear: your diet doesn’t work! After all, the word “die” is in the word “diet”. This should be your first red flag. Don’t you want to live your life?
Let us just spend a minute here shedding some light on this situation and go over the top reasons why diets are doomed to fail:
- The whole word “diet” is associated with a short-term goal. You’re on a diet to lose 15 pounds before the dreaded summer bikini season arrives, you want to lose 20 pounds to fit into your wedding dress etc. The whole perception of a diet is to obtain an immediate result from a temporary action, but the issue with this is that once the result is achieved the diet is stopped and old habits return.
- You gain more weight back than you initially lost. As mentioned above, many people go on diets, lose the weight and then gain the weight back. This is called Yo-Yo dieting or Weight Cycling and often the weight gained back is probably more then the initial loss. 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.
- Yo-yo dieting messes up your metabolism. When you go on an extreme calorie-restricted diet, your body responds by turning your calorie and fat burning ability to “low” in order to conserve energy for essential body functions such as breathing, digesting food and keeping the brain, heart and lungs working. In essence, your body is under stress and this type of stress affects the function of your thyroid gland responsible for your metabolism. This not only puts the breaks on your ability to burn fat, but also diminishes your capacity to break stored fat for energy.
- Count, count, count away your calories. A lot of diets almost obsessively and compulsively are associated with counting calories. This poses two issues: first, everybody processes calories differently and not all calories are created equal. For example, calories consumed from spinach or sweet potatoes are much more nutrient-dense than calories consumed from a processed, low-fat muffin. Second, when you are constantly thinking about the food you put in your body as a certain amount of calories you may find it to be a constant battle to maintain your calorie restrictions. Food is no longer associated with pleasure, but with negativity.
- Most diets do not educate you on healthy food choices. To add to the above point, many diets do not educate you on food choices but rather provide you with strict meal plans, recipes, points, calorie counts… However, for you to be able to achieve long-term success you should be able to make healthy choices wherever you are in the world – whether on vacation, at the super market or at a BBQ with friends. You should be your own nutritionist, because you know your body best!
- Your mindset and the guilt associated with eating something that is banned from the diet. Before even starting a diet, you know that you will be depriving yourself of the foods you 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… You ignore them for 5-days or 6-days, but when you eventually give in, this sends you on a roller coaster binge; only to feel guilt and remorse after and restrict yourself even more the next day. As we said, it is a slippery road that may lead to eating disorders.
- How do you handle food cravings? Your diet is most likely not addressing food cravings and how to handle them. Everyone has cravings – ice cream on a hot summer day, your afternoon sweet tooth pick me up, a beer in the evening. The issue isn’t having the cravings; it is how to properly manage them. Having the tools to help navigate through these cravings and learning how to reach for the healthier food alternatives will help eliminate them.
So, you might be thinking OK, these are good points ladies but what solutions do you have? I want to shed these 15 pounds, what should I do? Our solution is pretty simple, but you have to be ready for the answer, and it pretty much stems from loving and respecting your body and the food you put in it.
Indulge every now and then, but for the most part make healthier choices, and understand that changing your lifestyle to a healthier one might not be a quick fix, but it is a lasting fix. Make small sustainable changes at your own pace, it might take you a month or it might take you a year, however the benefits for your health and for your body are for life! Interested in learning more?
Want some of our juicy secrets? Join our Naughty Kitchen and Download your FREE copy of “10 Naughty Secrets to NEVER diet again” …includes 3 mouthwatering chocolate-based recipes. Download here.