We have all done this before! Gone on a diet. I have been on many, more than I care to mention. Here is the process:
- Go on a diet.
- Lose weight.
- Go off the diet.
- Gain all weight back (sometimes even more).
Then, the following year you try a different diet. Then, the year after that the next diet du jour.
There is a saying:
in·san·i·ty is doing the same thing and expecting different results.
You may be ready to take a new approach this year and end the madness.
All diets are based on the EXACT same principle:
If you eat less calories than you use, then you will lose weight (the old 'calories in' vs. 'calories out' theory).
The reason diets will NEVER work for permanent weight loss is that this principle is flawed.
The theory of 'calories in' vs. 'calories out' does not address WHY your body takes in more calories than it uses.
Think of it like the thermostat in your home. Say your thermostat was set to 100 degrees. You like your home to be at 70 degrees. Going on a diet would be like opening all your doors and windows to make it cooler in your home.
The problem is that your thermostat in your home will continue to crank the heat on and will NOT shut off until it reaches that 100 degree point. A much faster, more efficient approach to getting your house to 70 degrees is to turn down the thermostat to 70 degrees.
It is the same thing in your body. If you manually reduce your weight by going on a diet, rather than addressing the reasons you are taking in more calories, you will never keep it off long term.
The crazy thing about diets is, you can lose weight on a diet, but when you go off the diet (for whatever reason) and then gain the weight back,
...you blame yourself and NOT the principles behind the"diet"!
When I was on a diet, here are the things I felt:
- They are no fun - I hated not being able to eat what I wanted.
- It is too much work - I was always having to think about what I could eat.
- You're hungry all the time - I was always hungry and not satisfied.
- It will make you grumpy - because I was hungry it made me grumpy!
- You will have to give up the things you love - I hated giving up the things I loved and craved!
- You will gain all the weight back - I always gained the weight back again - so what was the point.
To achieve permanent weight loss, you need to determine and address the reasons why your body has more body fat than you would like.
Whether you like it or not, there is a reason behind it. If it was strictly because you eat too much, then a diet would work and we would all be the exact weight we wanted. But that is not working - there is something else going on that needs to be addressed.
It could be the types of foods you are eating (which may sound obvious, but a better question is WHY you are eating those things). It could be food addictions. It could be psychological reasons or it could be genetic reasons.
The bottom line is that your body is maintaining a certain weight for a reason and you have to figure out what it is. Half the battle is figuring it out what it is. Once you have done that, then you can make a plan to address the reasons.
No matter what the reason, at the end of the day, the answer is simple and has always been the same (and the same for everyone):
Eat a whole foods diet
The problem with this solution is that it is very difficult to transition from what you are eating today to eating a "whole foods diet". Many of us don't even really know what that means. And, it is not something you do overnight.
You have to ALSO address the reasons that your body is not gravitating to the "whole foods diet" naturally and it is gravitating to what you are currently eating. If you do not do this, then "eating a whole food diet" is just another diet program.
The bad news is there is a lot to learn. The good news is that it is not hard to make this change.
I wish I could give you the all the answers in a 700-word blog post, but there is a bit more to it then that. I have created a 30 min video explaining in more detail the reasons "Why Diets Don't Work" for long-term weight loss and if you are truly interested in learning why take the time to watch that video.
If you are currently on a diet, dig deep and ask yourself the following question:
Is this diet right for me? Will it give me the long-term results I want?
If the answer is no, then I would STOP the diet and try something totally different.
Here are some steps to get you started:
- Discover the problem - Why does my body have extra body fat? Ask yourself this question. Deep down you know the answer! If it was your job to design the diet for a professional athlete or super model or for someone who just wanted to lose weight in a healthy way - what would it be? Is this what you are eating? If not, ask yourself WHY you are not eating that way. (Deep down you have the answer to this, too!)
- Focus on the problem - Once you have an idea of why you are not eating the way you think you should, start figuring out how to address those issues. You may have said, "Well I crave that particular food or drink (whatever it is)" or "I am addicted to it" or "I don't like vegetables" or "I don't have the time to eat healthy" or...whatever it is. Everyone is different and will have different reasons. But once you have identified it, spend your time researching ways to eliminate those problems! Work on adjusting the thermostat, not just opening the windows.
As always, we would love to help you create a customized program and work with you side-by-side to resolve these concerns and fast-track your success.
Do you have any questions about your current diet? Leave your question in the comments below and I will respond.