In previous articles I have stated how it is extremely important that any health goal has an ‘end point’ or deadline. But what about when it comes to diet?
The reason diets fail (and yes, most of them do), is because people actually DO put a deadline on them. For long term weight loss success, that is a huge mistake!
For example, how many times have you said or have you heard someone say, “I wanna look good for my birthday so I’m going to be really good with food until then” or “ I have to look amazing for my wedding so Im going to get strict with what I eat for X amount of weeks leading up to it.”
They are just examples, but in both, that person has immediately put a deadline on themselves and their improved eating habits. What happens after those big events? Most people will relax. They got themselves to a point where they were happy or relatively happy, with how they looked and then took a ‘chill pill’ with everything to do with their nutrition. This is essentially ‘yo-yo’ dieting (which is a whole other topic altogether), and should absolutely be avoided!
Another way to tell that a diet is doomed to fail is by asking yourself, “Is this realistic”? Can you see yourself still doing it in 6-12 months time or longer? Living off 3 shakes and one meal per day might be ok for a few weeks, MAYBE, but eventually your body is going to give you signs that all is not well. Nutrient deficiency, extreme lethargy, muscle loss and metabolic damage, will no doubt pop up at some stage.
So how can we combat all this?
Firstly, I believe we MUST ditch the term diet! Im not sure about you, but when I hear that word I automatically think ‘quick fix’. Get it out of your head. Remove it from your vocabulary. We need to shift our mindset to a more longterm way of thinking. No more quick fix diets.
Secondly, and more importantly, the key to longterm weight loss success is LIFESTYLE! Oftentimes, people who achieve SUSTAINABLE weight loss success, realise that it isn’t always about the actual food eaten, but more about changes made that have enabled them to facilitate weight loss in the first place. Things like lots of or increased physical activity, being mindful of choices and hunger cues, and managing psychological stressors without resorting to food, can have a incredibly positive impact on a persons desired body shape.
Maintaining a weight-reduced state is a lifelong journey. Over prescribed, overhyped promises of our dieting culture are just a temporary bandage on a much greater issue. For many people, weight loss diets will fail. The important thing to remember is its not you, it’s them.