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There are countless diets out there claiming to be the answer to your weight loss goals. No doubt you have been on a diet in the past, or maybe you’re even on a diet right now. Diets suck us in because they promise fast results. Isn’t that what we all want? A quick and easy solution to our problem? But diets don’t work! They are the problem, not the solution.
However, diets aren’t the solution, they’re the problem. 95% of people who lose weight on a diet regain the weight 1-5 years later, and those are the people who are successful!
When you’re on a diet it rules your life. You are constantly thinking about food, and often you’re thinking of all the food you want to eat that you can’t because you’re on a diet.
You wonder, What can I eat? What am I going to cook? What am I allowed to snack on? What can I order on this menu? What if I’m hungry? What if I have cravings? The thoughts that run through your mind are constant and all consuming.
Inevitably, you stick to this diet for a short time. You might even notice some results, but the diet doesn’t work long term. Why? It’s not designed with YOU in mind.
Why diets don’t work?
When you hear the word “diet” the first thing that comes to mind is temporary elimination, and here lies the problem with all diets. It is not possible to make a restrictive temporary change and expect long term results. As soon as you stop following the restrictive program you go back to your old habits. Your old habits take you back to the place you were in the past that caused you to go on the diet in the first place. It’s a repetitive cycle that leaves you feeling frustrated and defeated. You blame yourself for not being strong-willed enough to stick to it. But you didn’t fail the diet, the diet failed you.
What should you do instead?
Create a Healthy Lifestyle
Instead of going on a temporary diet, change your lifestyle. When your lifestyle changes, your diet will change but in a way that is sustainable.
Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Instead of eliminating food groups from your diet, develop healthy eating habits. Not all diets are for everyone. If you have a heart condition, IBS, celiac disease, or any number of other health concerns, it is important to change your eating habits in accordance to your condition. If your goal is general health, weight loss, increased energy, improved sleep, following these guidelines are a good place to start…
- Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables
- Eat complex carbohydrates and eliminate simple carbohydrates
- Reduce animal protein that is high in saturated fat, and increase plant-based protein that is is low in saturated fat
- Drink water
- Eat food that is in its whole and natural form
Check out my 10 Simple Weight Loss Tips to Kick-Start Your Goals.
Be Patient, Change Takes Time
Miracle diets, and diet pills play to our desire for fast results. We want to look and feel better as quickly as possible. But research tells us that change takes time. Diets don’t work because they play into our desire for fast results. Change takes time. Developing a new habit takes a minimum of 21 days. Developing more than one habit takes even longer. Rather than a race to the finish line, consider the development of healthy habits a marathon. You don’t want to develop short term results, you want to develop a lifestyle that promotes health and happiness.
When you change your lifestyle to promote health, and focus on on the long term results you need ongoing support. Going at something alone, is challenging! If you’re the only one in your family making significant lifestyle changes to improve your health, you can easily get sucked back into old habits. There will always be challenges. Change is not easy. However, if you have support, resources, tools, and accountability to help you stay on track towards your long term goals, you will have a greater chance of success than if you try to do it on your own. Support can come in the form of a friend, spouse, or partner. A health and wellness coach can also serve as your support by providing the expertise and knowledge coupled with the encouragement, support, resources and tools to help you see your goals through to the end.
When you’re ready to make a lifestyle change to improve your health, feel better, and be happy and confident in your body, you’ll never go on another diet again! Diets don’t work, so stop putting the blame on yourself. A healthy, happy lifestyle is more than a fad diet. It’s a way of living that incorporates healthy eating, hydration, physical activity, stress-management, sleep, and mindfulness. When you develop a lifestyle that addresses the “whole” of you you’ll end up changing your entire life for the better!