Diets don’t work!

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There are so many diets out there – it feels like there is a new one each month and there are even ‘cults’ forming around certain methods.  Are you fed up of jumping on the latest trend and not seeing the results you want?  Or maybe you do see the results temporarily but it just isn’t sustainable with your lifestyle or when you try to reintroduce things?  Here is my take on it all…

Sometimes it seems like the easy option

Weight loss can be frustrating – ultimately it takes time and dedication and won’t happen overnight.  There is so much conflicting information out there that when a new diet plan or approach is being talked about – it can seem like the fix you might have been after.  Without trawling through the mountains of information around and making your own mind up – these ‘fad diets’ often offer a framework which if you follow to the letter you will achieve results – it is the easy option.

Fad diets are the health industries money maker

Aside from supplements and quick fix exercise plans, fad diets are a serious money maker. Social media is littered with conflicting information and often fad diets come with a celebrity endorsement to help them sell. One minute, high carb low fat is the winner, next, carbs are the enemy and you should live on fat. One week, it is all about a juice diet, next week your body will have entered starvation mode from the juice diet and you won’t be able to burn fat any more! They can be based on a super supplement (a miracle pill, detox tea, super shake), food types (cutting carbs, fats, clean eating, grains etc) or nutrient timing (intermittent fasting, 5:2 etc.) – it is SO confusing, but still, we jump on trends and give it a try in the hope that one of them will provide the magic answer.

In my opinion, they don’t work

‘Diets’ are short-sighted. Sure, potentially, all of the above might work for you short term – the reason they all work? Calories in versus calories out. Of course if you cut out a food group, take a shake instead of a meal or fast for half the day you will lose weight. This isn’t because of the mechanics of that specific diet, it is because you are consuming less calories than your body is burning. It really is that simple. Whilst they do, or at least can, work short term if you can stick to them, they aren’t setting you up for long term success.

Most of these diets:

  • Focus on unsustainable extremes so working, having a social life and normal habits become a challenge
  • Demonise certain foods or food groups, severely limiting or sometimes banning them completely
  • Fail to educate people for the long term
  • Are associated with feelings of guilt and failure when things go wrong
  • Encourage unhealthy relationships with certain foods i.e. good foods / bad foods
  • Allow us to be on or off the bandwagon (and when we fall off we fall off hard)

Research even shows that only 5% of crash dieters keep off the weight and nearly 65% will regain it and more within 3 years.  What is the point in putting in all that effort for something that isn’t sustainable?

So what is the answer?

In my opinion, diets are not the answer, especially for busy corporate professionals who are trying to balance a million and one things and don’t have the schedule, routine or access to foods restrictive ‘diets’ require. Changing your habits, mindset and lifestyle is what will give you long term sustainable change so how about we focus our energies here so we can create a balance that sees us well past reaching our goals. You absolutely CAN have it all in a way that works for you! If you are interested to find out more about doing this, the way I work and what is on offer take a look.

(Sorry for the rant!)

 All views are my own.