There are many reasons why most diets don’t work over the long term, and even more reasons to give up dieting forever and get on with your life:
- They’re Hard to Stick to
The problem with most weight loss diets is that they’re too specific to fit into our lives. They tell us what to eat, how much and sometimes even when, but they fail to take account of individual preferences, lifestyle, time constraints, our likes and dislikes. They require so much to change at the same time, and so are pretty much impossible to follow over the long term. Meaningful weight loss means lifestyle changes. The exception are more flexible diets such as Weight Watchers which allow you to choose your own foods based on a point system.
- Fad Weight Loss Diets
Fad weight loss diets use semi-starvation methods to promote weight loss which is ridiculous, and potentially dangerous.
Diets that restrict one or more of the food groups should also top your list of diets to avoid since you’ll be missing out on important nutrients and your weight loss will be temporary. On top of that, if you don’t eat enough calories, your metabolism may actually slow down, hindering any efforts you make to lose weight.
- Some Diets are Unhealthy
Not all weight loss diets are unhealthy but some urge us to cut out entire food groups in order to lose weight. Scientists can confuse us with conflicting studies about whether these diets are safe, but you don’t need an expert to know that we need carbohydrates, protein and fat to be healthy. Diets that are too low in fat or calories aren’t healthy and, if a diet is too restrictive, you won’t follow it.
- Diets don’t always Fit our Lifestyles
Most of us are busy and don’t have time for the careful shopping, cooking and calorie counting many weight loss diets require. If a diet calls for all kinds of things you don’t have time for, how long do you think you’ll be able to follow it?
You can lose weight without counting calories; whatever you do you must adopt an approach to weight loss that fits your lifestyle.
- Diets make you feel like a failure
Many weight loss diets are so restrictive and complicated that you’re almost guaranteed to fail. If you try to change all of your eating habits overnight it won’t work. In fact, you’re sure to fail, and finding one more thing to beat yourself up about is not acceptable in your quest to look and feel great.
Make small changes and take your time with weight loss. Give yourself time to change bad habits. If you are following a diet, choose one aspect of it to focus on until you’ve conquered it, for example ensuring that you eat a healthy breakfast, then move on to the next.
- Diets can be Expensive
Diets are big business, and the people who sell them have a very clear agenda, to prey on our insecurities and make a lot of money. Is anyone more interested in your overall health and fitness than you? Absolutely not, so be very sceptical because the so called ‘diet gurus’ don’t always have your best interests at heart.
- Diets are Temporary
I’m all about making changes for lifetime health and fitness, and this is never an option for most extreme weight loss diets. Even if you do manage to follow a diet, you’ll almost always give up on it when if you’re restricting your food too much. This means you’ll end up losing weight and gaining it back – a complete waste of your time.
Why would any of us want to be miserable for something that isn’t going to work?
- Diets sap your Energy
The reason you lose weight on diets is because you drastically reduce your calorie intake. You may think this is good, but too little food means fatigue, low energy and it can even stall weight loss. Your body needs fuel for weight loss and if you don’t get enough it can hoard the fat to provide for its needs.
- Diets give Food a Bad Name
Weight loss diets usually restrict the foods you love to eat. When told you can’t eat something, you become obsessed with not eating it, and that makes you crave it even more. Remember, foods aren’t good or bad and you can eat what you love as long as you only do it occasionally. Eating is one of the great pleasures in life and you can enjoy it without guilt when you allow yourself treats now and then.
For some people, weight loss diets offer great results, especially if they’ve found one that fits their lifestyle, budget and goals. However, their focus on restriction and deprivation rather than freedom and satisfaction is very far from positive. Diets also mean that you’re either “on” or “off”, so you’re either “good” or “bad” – not acceptable, and to go through all of that only to end up where you started except with one more “failure” under your belt isn’t either.
Stop dieting, and take the positive self-affirming and successful route to losing weight by changing one thing at a time, one day at a time. Ease the pressure on yourself, and slowly work towards a new healthy lifestyle.