Wondering why diets aren’t working for you in the way of not just reaching, but maintaining your health and weight goals? Let’s look at a few different scenarios…
Scenario 1: your best friend/coworker/sister-in-law lost 15 pounds on a weight loss plan, and she’s singing its praises. You decided to start the plan too, since you have about 10 or 15 pounds you would like to take off. But 5 weeks into the plan, you’ve only lost half a pound, your energy levels are depleted in the afternoons and you’re STARVING, all day, every day. As in, all you can think about is food. You’re frustrated, and you’re pretty miserable.
Scenario 2: you followed a diet 9 months ago and had amazing results. You lost 10 pounds in less than 2 months. But now, you’ve not only gained back the 10 pounds you lost, but you gained back an additional 5 pounds with it. Now, you’re 15 pounds above where you started. You’ve tried and tried to go back to the diet you had success with before, but no matter how hard you try, you keep falling off it. You’re frustrated, and you’re pretty miserable.
Scenario 3: You can’t remember the last time you felt truly energized. You don’t sleep well at night, you’re constantly on the go go go, and you feel like there’s no time left to do anything for yourself. Your best friend wants you to start a new diet with her, but you’ve already jumped on and off so many diets at this point, and that’s not really what you’re looking for. You just want to feel more vibrant and nourished, and you have no idea where to start.
These are some of the most common scenarios I hear from women who are either struggling with their weight, or just struggling to feel healthy, balanced and energized. So many women want to know why diets aren’t working for them.
And if you can relate to any of these scenarios, let me assure you that you’re not alone. But I also want you to know, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Trust me, it’s absolutely possible to reach your health and weight loss goals by creating healthier daily habits, and without having to resort to dieting.
But here’s the thing: diets are often the sexier choice when someone is looking to reach certain goals.
Why? Because when you follow a diet, you feel like you have some structure and order around how to eat and what choices to make on a daily basis. Diets can give you a sense of control in that moment. Not to mention, diets usually promise fast results, and most people want it FAST.
But are diets really the solution to a longer-term problem that is maintaining a healthy weight and healthy daily habits? I believe the answer to that question is No, they are not the solution.
Here are 4 reasons why I believe diets aren’t working for you…
1. There’s no one magic formula or diet that leads to weight loss for everyone.
2. Diet’s don’t consider all the other lifestyle factors that affect weight loss and energy levels.
3. Dieting doesn’t teach you how to listen to your body’s cues around hunger, satiety and cravings.
4. Diets don’t teach you what you need to know for successfully maintaining your goals long-term. (This is actually the hardest part!)
Let’s go into all of this info a little bit more.
1. THERE’S NO ONE MAGIC FORMULA OR DIET THAT LEADS TO WEIGHT LOSS FOR EVERYONE.
A one-size-fits-all diet simply doesn’t exist. That’s why what works well for your best friend may not do a thing for you as far as your health goals. Every body has different nutritional needs. And, even your own nutritional needs can and will change as factors change in your own life, like when you go through puberty, pregnancy and menopause, or if you decide to train for a half marathon, or just start working out harder, or if your stress levels increase (or decrease) at any point, etc.
2. DIETS DON’T CONSIDER ALL THE OTHER LIFESTYLE FACTORS THAT AFFECT WEIGHT LOSS AND ENERGY LEVELS.
There is so much more at play when it comes to weight gain, weight loss and energy levels besides just the food. For instance, when you have excess levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in your body, it can affect other hormones, make you feel depleted of energy (you need energy for exercise), make you feel hungrier, make you crave more sugar and processed carbohydrates and cause you to gain or hold onto weight around your midsection. To add insult to injury, obsessing too much over food can actually cause you additional stress and increase your cortisol.
3. DIETING DOESN’T TEACH YOU HOW TO LISTEN TO YOUR BODY’S CUES AROUND HUNGER, SATIETY AND CRAVINGS.
When you’re strictly following a plan of counting calories, macros or just avoiding certain whole food groups (I’m looking at you, never carbers), you never really learn about your body’s innate abilities to signal to you what it needs.
Am I saying that your body will signal to you that it’s craving a venti vanilla latte and a blueberry muffin from the coffee shop and you should indulge it? Not at all. I actually don’t believe our bodies are programmed to crave that kind of processed sugar. But, your body will tell you when it needs healthy carbohydrates for energy, when it needs good fats for hormone production, when it feels depleted and needs rest, when you’re actually hungry and need fuel and when you’re satisfied with the foods you’ve eaten. It’s crucial that you learn how to listen to and read these natural cues from your body.
4. DIETS DON’T TEACH YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR SUCCESSFULLY MAINTAINING YOUR GOALS LONG-TERM.
Sure, you may do well for the first month or even two months that you start a new diet. But what happens when your next vacation rolls around, or your birthday or the holidays? Will you know how to navigate these celebratory events that happen in life? Will you know what to do when you find yourself at a pizza place with friends on a Friday night? Will you know how to find balance with your diet, allowing yourself to enjoy these events without feeling restricted, but knowing how to come back into balance again when it’s over?
I believe one of the biggest reasons why diets aren’t working for long-term success is that they ingrain an all or nothing mindset. This can not only cause damage to your relationship with food, but also make you feel stressed or fearful whenever you come face to face with a food that’s not on the plan. This restrictive way of thinking is also what often leads people to overeat whenever they do allow themselves to have certain foods that aren’t on their “plan.”
One last thing — the stats for dieting aren’t in your favor. Research shows that about 95% of people who lose weight by dieting will regain it in 1 to 5 years.
So if diets aren’t working, then what IS the answer?
The only way to find your healthy weight and STAY THERE for the long run, is in finding balance with food, understanding basic nutrition principles and developing routines and habits in other important areas that support your health.
That’s why I created Wellness For Weight Loss. If you’re overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start, or you’re burned out with dieting, I’ll help you learn how to reach your healthy weight and successfully maintain it, and feel healthy, vibrant and energized every day.
This course will teach you about all the most important aspects of wellness — healthy and balanced eating, stress management, creating daily routines that support a healthier lifestyle, gut health, good sleep, regular exercise and more — and how to set up daily routines that will turn these things into your daily HABITS. And that’s what will keep you on track for the long run.