What if I told you that you can give up dieting forever… and still reach your health goals? That you never need to “go on” a diet again and can still lose weight and keep it off – forever. Sounds too good to be true, I know, but when you learn and understand what DOES work, you realize why what you have been doing does NOT work.
The approach “eat less and move more” has been the rule of thumb for weight loss ever since diets were invented. This method is not wrong, but it is over-simplified and neglects important areas of health, biology, and human physiology.
There are much better (and less agonizing) ways to rid the excess weight. Below I explain 5 main reasons why diets fail, time and time again, and alternative solutions that are effective and doable.
My most successful clients have followed these steps and were able to achieve the body of their dreams!
Fighting biology is not a winning battle. Trying to “overcome” your appetite will only last a short while. Diets work (temporarily) because calories are reduced enough to create a deficit, but cutting calories too quickly and too drastically, will leave you feeling cold, hungry, and just miserable. Your physiology will respond (in attempts to keep you alive) but slowing down your energy output and increasing appetite hormones. It won’t take long until you are exhausted from fighting your own body and give in, sometimes leading to a binge or resorting back to old, unhealthy habits.
Solution: Focus on strengthening discipline through repetition and practice. Start with one small change that is almost TOO easy to not do, such as drink one extra glass of water per day or consume one vegetable per day. Since the change is small and easy to achieve, the success will be encouraging and soon e you will have added on 5 small changes that will ultimately turn into life-long habits. Reducing sugar and processed foods in your diet slowly and methodically is much easier than going cold turkey with threat of relapsing and feeling defeated and guilty. View changing your diet as a new skill and practice it every single day.
Too Restrictive; Not Sustainable
If a diet does not meet your nutritional needs, it will be extremely difficult to continue for the rest of your life, right? Right. Many diets decrease certain macronutrients (typically carbohydrates or fat) in turn reducing micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) with the attempt to reduce overall calories. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to hormone imbalances or even worse, illnesses, overtime. Creating a new problem while trying to solve an existing one is not a proper solution. The way you eat should promote health, not diminish it. In addition, the psychological impact of deprivation is not something we can live with for long. The thought that we “cannot” have something, makes us want it all the more. Being a tyrant with yourself is a losing battle and causes tension and unhappiness.
Solution: Don’t start a diet that you don’t plan to continue for the rest of your life. Period. End of story. Diets that are extreme and unrealistic should not even be attempted. Ditch the “black and white” mentality and learn that nutrition and lifestyle changes have many gray areas that take time to learn and master. As you become more aware of your needs and what makes you feel good (and what makes you feel bad), you can learn to incorporate personalized flexibility that leaves you feeling liberated and satisfied.
Weight Loss v.s. Fat Loss
When you enter a caloric deficit to lose weight. With weight loss, we lose a combination of fat, water, and muscle. Especially in circumstances with rapid weight loss, more of it will be muscle mass, which is extremely precious tissue. Losing lean muscle mass slows down the metabolism and decreases strength. Ideally, we want to only lose fat, but that is not as simple as it sounds. It takes adequate time and intricate planning with both diet and exercise to gradually lose fat while sustaining muscle. This will result in a lean, healthy physique with a robust metabolism.
Solution: Incorporate weight and resistance training when attempting to lose weight to preserve muscle tissue. Consume adequate protein (0.6 – 1 g protein per pound of body weight). Do not crash diet for a short duration, since it will likely result in a vicious yo-yo diet cycle. Instead, give yourself plenty of time to moderately reduce calories and create healthy habit and lifestyle changes.
Not Tailored to You
You are not your friend, nor your coworker, or even your family member. You are you and your body is unique. Due to a complex combination of genetics, environmental factors, upbringing, and life-long habits – your body will respond well to certain foods and styles of eating and not so well to others. Therefore, it is important to customize a diet personal to you and your lifestyle. Just because it seems that a diet is working for everyone around you does not mean it is right for you.
Solution: Keep a journal and experiment with how different styles of eating make you feel. Does more plant food energize you or leave you hungry? Do you tolerate more or less carbohydrates in your diet? Do you have food sensitivities that leave you feeling sick or inflamed? These questions, and many more, should be considered prior to jumping head-first into a new diet plan. Speak with a Dietitian if you need guidance and clarification on how to know what works for your unique self.
Cannot Address All of Your Health Needs
Making changes with the food you eat is a great start to any journey to health, however, don’t neglect the other areas of your life that contribute to wellness as well. Your diet could be perfect, but if you are stressed to the max, sleeping horribly, and failing to add in movement, you could find yourself in a never-ending plateau that only leads to frustration and eventually resignation.
Solution: As you focus on nourishing your body with the foods you eat, remember to nourish your body as a whole. Prioritize quality sleep, move your body in ways you find challenging and fun, schedule in time to decompress, and surround yourself with loving and supporting people. The body thrives when it is in balance, and a holistic approach is the most effective and comprehensive way.
Need help implementing these solutions? Tired of yo-yo dieting and losing the SAME weight over and over?
Contact Me today and let’s get started on your permanent fat loss journey!