5 Reasons Diets Don't Work
(PLUS a long lasting alternative that you can truly enjoy):
1. They increase feelings of guilt and shame when detouring from diet (as the HUMAN you are).
If you tell yourself that you can’t eat <insert any type of food here> and end up eating this food, how are you likely to feel? Guilty? Bad? Disgusting? What happens then? “To heck with it, I might as well just keep eating, I’ve already failed…” And down the dieting rabbit hole you go which leads me to my next point.
2. They lead to a cycle of restriction & overeating, wreaking havoc on your metabolism in the process.
Yup, you tell yourself you can’t have said food item and then you end up eating said food item and then the negative thoughts attack. Why, did you do that? Not because you are a failure and you suck at this, because you LOVE food and food is delicious! READ: it’s not you, it’s the diet that sucks. If you listen to your body and allow yourself to enjoy food, you might find you end up eating exactly the amount your body needs! Depriving yourself can lead to overeating which can then lead to more deprivation. Reduced calorie intake can push our body’s into a survival mode, slowing our metabolism. Not an ideal situation, my friend!
3. They negatively impact your social life - dinners out, holidays, family gatherings, dating, etc…
Not to mention the amount of physical and emotional energy you expend trying to control your body weight, shape and size. Food and eating are meant to be ENJOYABLE. Sometimes diets stop us from enjoying social gatherings because they hinder our restrictive eating efforts. When your date takes you to their favorite restaurant and you can’t find anything that fits in your diet, what do you do? Bail on the date? Make all sorts of special ordering accommodations? When your soccer team throws a spaghetti dinner the night before a tournament game, what do you do? Resort to being anti-social and stay home? Bring your own food because you fear what is being offered?
4. They hazardously cause you to shift focus from HEALTH to weight.
Healthy is defined by Merriam Webster dictionary as: showing physical, emotional and mental well-being, flourishing, not small or feeble. Sure, health in terms of food intake is eating foods that nourish your body, but also enjoying foods that nourish your soul. Allowing yourself to have foods of all kinds: chocolate chip cookies AND acai berry smoothies. When you are always focused on dieting and weight loss, you may lose sight of true health, compromising your wellbeing and health in the long run.
5. They deplete vital nutrients.
Diets typically involve eliminating a certain food or food group, leading to inadequate nutrition. Your body needs the right amount of ALL nutrients in order to function optimally. Your body requires an appropriate amount of carbohydrates so protein can get into the cell and properly repair it. Without enough dietary fat, you can’t absorb vitamins (A,E,D and K), some of which are also powerful antioxidants! You can pump yourself full of supplements all you want but without the right balance of protein, carbs and fats, those nutrients are ill equipped to do their job.
HERE’S THE ALTERNATIVE WE PROMISED YOU!!!
There is a reason why the diet industry is a billion dollar industry. Diets don’t work! But they are good at training you to keep reinvesting in their empty promises. Want a better alternative?
Your body will fight tooth and nail to be balanced and healthy - if you are willing to tune in to what it is telling you, you will find lifelong sustainable habits that aren’t built around restricting certain foods and certain food volumes. What if you were to start listening to what your body is asking for and giving it what it wants? By tuning in, you are granting your body the opportunity to THRIVE where it needs and wants to be naturally. Instead of attempting to control your hunger through “willpower” and restricting or avoiding certain foods, try to become attuned with your eating. Aim to be mindful about what you’re eating, and try to listen to your body’s signals of when you’re hungry or satisfied. Start by sitting down at a table with your meal, without any distractions, and give yourself permission to eat whatever you want. Take note of the taste and texture of the food and how satisfied you feel during and after eating it. Continue repeating these experiments. Over time, this will help you figure out what makes you feel the best and how much and of what your body actually needs. Sounds very liberating to me!