Does this sound familiar? You hear about this wonderful diet that will guarantee weight loss, so you try it, only to gain even more weight back once you’ve lost it?
Don’t feel bad. You are not alone. Just because a diet works for one person does not mean that it works for everyone. Diets are destined to fail, and it should come as no surprise. After all, the word “die” is in the word “diet.” That should be your first sign. Don’t you want to live your life instead?
So why don’t diets work?
Here are the top 5 reasons that diets are doomed to fail:
- People choose to use a diet to achieve a short-term goal. That goal is usually to lose weight before an upcoming event. Diets are perceived from the onset as a temporary action used to obtain an immediate result. Once that result is achieved, the diet is stopped and old eating habits return.
- As mentioned, many people try yo-yo dieting or “weight cycling,” which can slowly increase the bottom and top numbers on a scale. People start diets, lose weight, and then gain the weight back, often more than they lost. And, for some reason, they repeat the cycle. This repeated failure can have negative effects on a person’s mental health and could result in an eating disorder. To quote Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
- Every calorie is not created equal. Many diets are based on the premise of counting calories using a formula meant for the general population as opposed to the individual. Everybody processes calories differently. This formula supports that caloric expenditure exceeds caloric intake and will therefore promote weight loss. It has become clear that this premise is no longer true. Calories consumed from spinach or sweet potatoes are much more nutrient-dense than calories consumed from a processed, low-fat muffin. In addition, if you were to consume too few calories, your body goes into survival mode, slowing down the metabolism. You run the risk of your metabolism remaining sluggish once you start consuming more calories.
- Entering into a program with this mindset clearly does not support success. Before even starting a diet, people often believe that they will be depriving themselves of foods they love. This constant experience of deprivation will bring on food cravings that are difficult to ignore and can cause binge episodes.
- Diets do not address food cravings and how to handle them. Everyone has cravings. Having the tools to help navigate through those cravings and reach for healthy food alternatives will help to eliminate them.
Unfortunately for many individuals, diets only offer a quick fix to a larger problem. Learning which foods nourish the body and which don’t is the best approach to eating in order to obtain weight-loss and optimal health.
I find that most clients who come to see me are confused about what to eat. Even though we live in the age of information, the information that’s out there can be overwhelming or even conflicting. It’s time to ditch the information overload and figure out which foods work for your unique body.
You can eat and enjoy good food and lose weight all at the same time. It means focusing on healthy eating, combined with stress-release, moderate exercise, and lots of self care. The combination enables you to say goodbye to diets and old habits, and helps you uncover greater happiness, more energy, and a feeling of total balance throughout the day.
Editor’s Note: Courtney Benedict’s six-week Whole Wellness for Life Signature Program is a blueprint for finding foods that work for the individual. Her newest program begins Feb. 29. Early bird registration is available now through Feb. 21.