You’ve heard it a million times; it’s a lifestyle, not a diet.
I certainly will not tell you any differently! If diets worked, everyone would be skinny. Everyone would have their dream body year round. So why don’t they work? We see information on the Keto diet and all sorts of other low-carb diets preached all over the place nowadays. Carbs are the enemy, right?
We need to start educating ourselves. We all want a quick fix, but in reality it does not exist, because again, if it did, the US wouldn’t suffer from an obesity problem. Stop looking for the magic diet plan, pill, or workout program to finally lose that weight. So before you decide to start replacing your meals with protein shakes or jump on-board with the skinny tea detoxes or juice cleanses, let’s take a look at why you’re setting yourself up for failure and why DIETS ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE.
Diets imply a temporary state. Not to be dramatic, but the definition of diet is and I quote, “a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons”. Unless you have a medical condition for why you have to alter the way you eat, it’s not going to be a way of life you can mentally adhere to and keep up with.
Results will be temporary. If you cut your calories in half, obviously you will lose weight. You’ll feel great and on top of the world, but not to be the bearer of bad news, but no one can mentally, physically, or physiologically keep up with starving themselves. The second you go back to your old roots, the weight will pile back on. And so begins the very popular “yo-yo dieting”.
Diets promote the “all-or-nothing” mindset. I see it all the time—upon starting a diet, you plan to start fresh on a Monday. You’ll be 100%-all-in. This is finally the time you lose weight. But the motivation wears off. You slip up so you might as well make it an entire cheat day. You’ll start again tomorrow. You slip up again and fall off track for a week. You’ve blown it. Oh well, you’ll start again next month. This mindset doesn’t exist when you view your journey as a lifestyle instead of a diet.
It’s too drastic of a lifestyle change. Living healthy looks different for each person. A diet is a cookie-cutter plan that is supposedly to work for everyone. How do we expect that to work when we are different genders, ages, and fitness levels. We have different lifestyles, professions, and preferences. Completely flipping your life upside down will lead to failure and guilt.
Dieting trains your brain to making food hard to resist. Being on a diet means you’re restricting yourself in some way whether it be the type of foods, how much, or both. When you starve yourself, your metabolism slows down in order to hang on to every calorie for dear life because it doesn’t know when it’ll be fed again. This is our body’s natural survival mechanism.
Dieting builds an unhealthy relationship with food. You will find yourself thinking about food way more and lose touch with your natural hunger cues. Restriction could lead to severe eating disorders like binge eating.
The only way to lose weight permanently is to adapt to healthier habits progressively that work for your lifestyle. If you want to lose weight or get fit, start today. You don’t need to stop eating foods you love. You don’t need to starve yourself. You don’t need to drastically change your lifestyle to a point of not even recognizing who you are anymore. Start simple. Start slow.
You will thank yourself in a month from now.