4 Reasons Why Diets Are NOT Working For You
The world of weight loss and weight loss diets is a massive moneymaking industry. The number of different weight loss diets available to us is like an ocean filled with millions of different types of fish. Deciding which one to fish for and eat becomes a challenging enterprise. From Weight Watchers, to Ketogenic, to Paleo, to Atkins, to low carb, you hope that the one you choose will help you lose weight quickly, easily and with as little effort as possible.
According to Google Dictionary, the word diet is a both a noun and a verb.
noun1. the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.2. a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.verb1. restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
I’d like to share with you 4 Reasons Why Diets Aren’t Working for You. This is not because I don’t believe in losing weight or restricting calories for a period of time. It’s because oftentimes diets do not address the underlying causes of weight gain in the first place leading people to a lifestyle where dieting, rather than healthy eating, becomes a pattern.
- Diets can create an unhealthy relationship with food. People on diets are often told, “You can’t eat this” or “You can only eat that.” The problem with this is that people start to believe that certain foods are ‘okay’ and others are not. Add to that the problem that people often diet for months which actually solidifies these beliefs in peoples’ minds. Fats or carbohydrates or other foods become “problem foods” despite the fact that our bodies need fats and carbohydrates to function, to repair cells, for energy and many other reasons.
- Diets contribute to a mindset that food has more power over you than you do over your food. We often go on diets because we believe that this or that food has contributed to our weight gain. We believe that removing foods or changing our diets will change our weight and so we buy into the idea that if we just go on a diet things will get better for us. Although this may be true to a certain degree, the problem is that we easily forget the fact that it is the way we think about food that affects our eating patterns and the weight we gain as a result. It gives food more power over you than you have over your food which is sad because YOU HAVE THE POWER OF CHOICE.
- Diets create the illusion that you must eat a certain way to lose weight. From low carb to high protein to sugar free to low fat, we have been repeatedly told that certain foods contribute to weight gain or weight loss. The fact is, eating any food in moderation is usually okay. Sugar or fats won’t make you fat unless you eat a lot of them. Remember that more calories consumed than burned by your body as fuel will contribute to weight gain no matter what you eat. Eating excessive amounts of protein can contribute to weight gain especially if you are eating over and above your daily calorie needs. Obviously I would encourage you to eat quality foods that are good fuel your body – think whole grains, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and as natural as possible.
- Diets don’t address the most common underlying cause of weight gain – mindset. This is often the biggest issue with diets. We want a quick fix and so we change our diet for a period of time. However, we forget or don’t realize that we have an unhealthy relationship with the foods we eat, whether because we believe that certain foods are ‘okay’ or because we are unaware of our tendency of eating habitually or when we are under stress. Identifying our attitudes towards food and getting the support we need to undo our mindsets around eating and dieting are an essential piece of healthy and sustainable weight loss and the maintenance of a healthy weight in the long term.