Why do Diets Fail?
Typically a diet will consist of restricting something, often times carbs. Carbs have this reputation of being the enemy, but that’s not true we need carbs in order for our body to perform at it’s best. Anyway, when we restrict something we get this feeling that we are missing out and not having it will start to feel like it’s a punishment. That’s why when we start a diet we can be so motivated and ready to attack it, but as time goes on your body starts to think about things it used to be able to have and starts craving it, these cravings start to get to be too much so you cave in and eat what you were tempted to have. The problem rarely stops there. Once you cave in and give your body a taste of what it’s been deprived of, it wants more of it and since you already caved in once you are more likely to justify doing it a few more times. This process can happen quickly and before you know it you are back at your starting weight and back into your old habits. That’s when the guilt comes in and you start feeling bad about what you did on the diet and you start it all over again. Do you see the issue here? Making things worse instead of fixing the diet cycle we tend to think the next time we will do better because, “there’s a new diet I’m going to try and it’s not like the last one” or “I’m in a much better place to start a diet now than I was before.”
The problem wasn’t the specific diet. The problem was dieting.
What can you do instead?
You can make a lifestyle change. What’s the difference? A lifestyle change is all about understanding what food is and what it’s meant for. It’s meant to provide your body with the energy and ability to be at its top performance. It’s about creating a healthy relationship with food and not associating with something it’s not. What does that look like? Football Sunday means pizza Sunday. Movies mean popcorn. It’s taco Tuesday! These are not the types of associations your body and mind needs with food, because it’s taking away from what food is meant to do.
So I can’t have any treats?
You can absolutely have treats! That’s the biggest difference between a diet and a lifestyle. Lifestyles are not trying to restrict you, they are educating you. You can have a bowl of ice cream occasionally, because you know how it will play into your day and what you can do to make sure it’s not going to sidetrack you from your ultimate goal of being a healthier version of yourself. Once you know what foods do what you can make educated decisions on what you are going to eat, see in real time how that will affect you, and not have to feel guilty about the choices you’re making.
How do you start a lifestyle change?
You start by educating yourself. In my Lifestyle Content section I cover a wide variety of topics to get you going on the right foot, but I would first start by reading my section about MyFitnessPal and downloading their app from either the Apple Store or Google Play store. This app will give you a base amount of calories you need during the day based on your information. I broke down exactly how the app works and why I recommend it. The other pages in that section are equally as helpful and are a great resource for questions you may have along the way. A big tip I have is to remember at the end of the day weight loss and weight gain comes down to one thing, calories in versus calories out. If you consume less calories than you burn you will lose weight. If you consume more calories than you burn you will gain weight. It can get more complicated than that depending on your goals, but that’s a great place to start and a good reminder when you start overthinking things.
Are you ready to make a lifestyle change?
If you’re ready to make a lifestyle change and get control of your health and wellness (although diet is just one part of it), then start today. It doesn’t matter if it’s morning time, lunch, dinner, or you’re about to go to bed if you’re reading this then it’s time to start. Go get MyFitnessPal, read the information in the Life Content page, and send me a message on my contact page letting me know you’re ready to start and let me help you along this journey! You got this.
Become Better Each Day