We are not even one week into 2018 and I am already so sick + tired of seeing all of these diet + weight loss ads being advertised.
Yes, a lot of people have goals at the first of the year to lose weight, tone up, or just be healthier; but with all of these companies promising you quick weight loss if you eat this, count this, or buy their product, it’s no wonder people get confused and/or fall off the bandwagon shortly into the year.
(Strawberry smoothie from Neighborhood Brew, off Valleydale)
I’ve fallen into diet traps before in my lifetime, researching different approaches, eliminating certain foods, and of course, calorie counting. All of these got me in bad places and was NOT good for my health, both physically and mentally.
Our bodies are incredible machines. I mean, God made us, how could they not be?
Food is fuel to our bodies. We need it not only for energy, but for our bodies even to be able to function. We must feed our organs too! Food is also meant to be enjoyed.
(Buffalo Wild Wings: Wings + bacon cheese fries)
It is important we have a balance of exercise, feeding our bodies nutritious food, but also feeding our bodies food for pleasure. It can confuse our minds if we fall into all of these diet traps. I am practicing every day to follow more of this healthy balanced, intuitive eating lifestyle, and each day with each step forward, I am finding it more freeing.
(night time cereal combo of Vanilla Chex + Fruit Loops)
So, why do diets NOT work?
I’m here to give you 3 reasons why.
1.Diets essentially slow down the process of losing weight.
But, wait! Aren’t diets supposed to help us lose weight faster? NO. When we put our bodies through any kind of “diet”, it is actually a stressor to (and on) our bodies. Our bodies tend to fight against us when we are going through something like this. That should be our first clue! Extreme dieting, eliminating food groups, and being so restrictive is not what our bodies were made to do or be put through. Dieting just causes our stress hormones (adrenaline + cortisol) to increase.
So, all this time you were thinking going on a diet would relieve some stress? Think again.
(Salad I put together with leftover chicken tenders + orange pieces)
2.They usually don’t work long term/Aren’t always sustainable.
If someone goes on a diet to lose “X” amount of pounds, and they had to eliminate a food group, be restrictive, sacrifice going out with friends + family, and maybe even had a to take a certain company’s product, what happens when this person reaches their goals?
Are they going to continue to miss out on enjoying dinner out with family + friends? Are they willing to continue to pay for the product or eliminate a certain food group the rest of their life?
Realistically, it doesn’t always work.
In many cases, people end up gaining weight back after reaching their goal and getting off the diet, but their happiness may be through the roof if they are able to enjoy things they missed out on before.
Of course, I say everything in moderation, but we must also consider our happiness. Want to enjoy a date night with your significant other and enjoy a good meal + dessert? Go for it!
A lot of this falls under intuitive eating, which I will talk more abut in future posts. All in all, think about going through a particular “diet” for the rest of your life. I’m sorry, but I don’t want that for my life!
(Panera Bread: Side salad, Butternut squash soup, and baguette)
3.Diets usually are NO FUN!
Let’s be real…when has a “diet” ever been rainbows + unicorns? NEVER. There may be some excitement in the beginning, because, hey…I have goals and I want to reach them…but soon that dies off when you are craving a piece of bread, a glass of milk, or even a piece of chocolate. Nine times out of ten, when you eliminate something and tell yourself you aren’t allowed to have it, the cravings for that will only get stronger and stronger. So much strong, that you just might give in, ruin your “diet”, you get down + frustrated with yourself, and you feel you have to start over.
Who wants to live like that?
I used to think I ruined things if I gave in to eating something that I truly wanted. I no longer want to be like that. It DID stress me out, I got frustrated with myself, and it’s not worth it. If you want a food, it should be enjoyed!!
Having a balanced lifestyle of both healthy + nutritious foods, and those foods that give us pleasure, is what it’s about. I am 4 year out from 30 (oh lawd) and I am at the point where I want to give my body the nutritious food it needs to function, but also enjoy foods I love, try new things, and NOT be stressed about it.
(Ice cream of all kinds is good. I have always enjoyed Arctic Zero for a healthier option)
So before you sign up for this “diet” or buy this product, think twice about long term and your happiness and health.
If you need someone to guide you through it, or need someone to help reach your goals without going on a diet, please contact me! I am starting this year as a health coach and I want to help you get where you want to be without falling for these gimmicks and false hopes.
Whether it is for personal training or health coaching, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.