Diets Fail! Or, do they?
Updated: Feb 1
Them: What kind of diet are you on?
Me: Real Food.
I understand the need to identify what protocol works best for your situation. Those that are in-tune with their body will be better at determining which diet may be necessary. For some, it's for weight loss, but for many, it's to feel good, to do everyday activities with ease, to feel stronger. There's something about adding life to our years. My hope is that through my resources - my blog, presentations, and classes, you will be encouraged to advocate for your wellness, read your labels, partner with your practitioner, and always do your own research.
Why do diets fail?
Simply put, many are unable to stick to it. Why is that? Maybe, the particular diet chosen didn't align with the individual's needs - for today (short term) and tomorrow (in the long run). Let's explore some reasons why diets many times do not work:
1) Don't Feel Good
4) Social Pressure
5) Lack Results
6) Too Rigid
7) Budget or Lifestyle
Some choose a protocol (aka diet) that is temporary. It is what helps them identify the triggers that is causing their sickness and discomfort. Many times, they stay the course longer than they had originally planned. Other times, they may incorporate one new food item during a period of time like an Elimination Diet to determine which foods align or damage. This is part of the wellness journey.
Lifestyle vs. Diet
Choose a lifestyle regardless if this includes a diet or protocol of your choosing. I like to call it a health regimen. It places the priority on health which to me means long term. I guess it's all a matter of opinion but use words that empower your journey and be confident in your research and choices. Always be open to changes because they 'gon come!
Dieting is often referred to as weight cycling (yoyo dieting) in which you are choosing different programs to achieve certain results (primarily weight loss) over long-term wellness changes.
What does weight cycling comprise of?
1. You start to lose weight.
2. You quit your diet because you've a) met your goal or b) can't keep it up.
3. You return to your old eating habits.
4. You gain the weight previously lost right back.
5. Frustrated with your weight, you go on a diet.
Weight Cycling May Cause:
- Decrease in muscle mass if not exercising
(More muscle = more calories burned; less muscle = less calories burned)
- Mental distress (fear of failure (again))
- Life dissatisfaction
- Self doubt
Healthy and Sustainable Weight Loss
Losing 1-2 pounds a week is sustainable. Sure, it doesn't sound like a lot and if you're on the heavier side, you're already calculating how long that's going to take. But, give yourself some grace. It may take time, but during this process, you'll be fine tuning new habits and you'll look back one day and see how far you've really come!
Take baby steps. You already know how much I tout this as a general rule in your wellness journey. I'm a baby stepper. It works! Sure, you can go cold turkey and go all in so if your personality supports this action then give it a try and it's okay if you have to pull back a bit and go slower during different seasons in the journey.
Support system. This is an essential part of the protocol for most. We just do better when we have a buddy or a team of supporters. Look for an accountability partner. Can't find one? Ask for one. Social media is a free tool.
Include behavioral changes in your journey. This is having the right attitude for your situation. It isn't solely about dietary changes or movement. Food is the foundation but movement is important and so is having a healthy upbeat attitude. Do what you can with what you have. There is always a way!
Add in one simple change. This will be covered in my New Year Solutions post. You get to choose what that one simple change is and how long it takes you to make it part of your lifestyle.
This one simple change could include the incorporation of a fitness tool or app. How does one figure out which app or tool is best? The best way may be to ask friends that are into fitness. Another way is to search fitness apps on your smart phone and look at the reviews.
My Closing Thoughts
I personally measure my wellness success on how I feel.
Calorie counting, in my opinion, should never be used as the primary marker in one's wellness journey. There should be a focus on quality and source. If your goal is 2,000 calories and you ate 2,000 calories and it was mostly protein and packaged foods well, is that balanced, was it nutrient dense, was it chock full of preservatives and MSG? You can learn all of this in the ingredients list. Make most of your choices real food paying attention to quality and source. This philosophy can be taught with a nutrition consult with me.
Lifestyle changes are sustainable! Choose which one aligns with your needs today and what may compliment where you see yourself next month or next year. If you want to incorporate supplements, do your research on the ingredients and ask if they offer ongoing education with and outside of the product or program you choose.
Eat real food and incorporate movement every day!
My last tip: Run far away from any program that doesn't offer any education on quality and source of food ingredients or any program that solely teaches calorie counting. You are likely to burn out. Being in-tune with our body is best. Listen to and honor it and give it nourishing foods!
Choose, eat, and live well! =)
Disclaimer: This post was originally written and published on my first blog at i convey awareness dot com. While this blog is still open, articles are no longer published there. You can find quality content there but eventually, they'll be published here over time.
What did you learn and what will you apply to your wellness journey? Share about it below.