Chances are that at some point in your life you went on a diet. You may even be on one now. Or, you may be making a New Year’s resolution to diet in 2010. Let me stop you there. If you are planning on losing weight in 2010, save your money and time, and instead, resolve not to diet. No, I’m not kidding.
I’m going to tell you a secret … dieting doesn’t work. Some of you may be thinking: “But my friend lost twenty pounds on the Atkins diet!” or “I have heard fantastic things about Nutrasystem.” Sure, these diets work in the short term, but after a dieter stops dieting, they most likely put back on some, if not all of the weight.
As you are thinking about your resolutions for the New Year, I’d like you to indulge me and make a resolution or set a goal not to diet. And, I want you to remember the following things about diets, why they don’t work and what better solutions are for 2010:
1. Lack of Nutrition
Contrary to popular belief, most diets are not healthy and may actually border on malnutrition. Many urge us to do extreme things, forgo our favorite foods or cut major food groups in order to lose weight. Healthy eating requires ALL nutrients (carbs, fats, and protein) and a minimum number of calories in order to maintain health and proper body function.
For 2010: Focus on eating foods that are nutrient rich and that provide you with the balance to keep you feeling satisfied.
2. Unsustainable Behavior
Depriving your body shocks your body into losing weight, but once it gets over that shock, it adapts. How? By slowing down your metabolism, going into unhealthy physical states (such as ketosis), or stopping weight loss. So, even if you have the mental willpower to diet forever, your body doesn’t.
For 2010: Change to a mindset of eating healthy as a lifestyle, not as dieting. This will help you to lose excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime ... not just for bikini season.
When you deprive yourself to an extreme, you end up craving to an extreme. One day you’re “extremely good,” the next “extremely bad.” You may have heard this called “yo-yo dieting.”
For 2010: Implement a philosophy of moderation. Enjoying the foods you love and the treats you crave once in a while will help you to crave foods less overall.
4. Life Doesn’t Support Dieting
Diets often require us to change our eating habits in such a way that normal life becomes difficult. Eating out, going over friends' houses for dinner, special occasions all become “problems.” These things, however, are the very things that make life worth living! Most of us are busy and can’t always shop, cook, and calorie-count the way many diets require.
For 2010: Find ways to fit healthy eating into everyday life so that you can enjoy life and be healthy. Discover which nutritious foods you love that make healthy eating delicious! (Discover forty easy and delicious recipes to eat healthy!)
5. Lack of Energy
Dramatically reducing your calorie intake can result in reduced energy levels and fatigue. Instead, it is important to understand which foods provide you with quality nutrition.
For 2010: Eat small meals often. This strategy can actually stimulate weight loss, keep you satisfied, and make you feel energetic.
6. Quantity vs. Quality
Dieting doesn’t really teach you how to eat for the long term. You may be counting calories while eating foods that actually make you hungrier or cause you to crave more.
For 2010: Learn what foods are the most satisfying and most nutritious. The more nutritious the food you eat, the less hungry you will be. You’ll make smarter choices and lose weight without focusing on every calorie you ingest.
In order to truly lose weight, you have to eat well and be active. I’m not saying you have to run a marathon, but as we get older, our metabolisms naturally slow down. The more active you are, the more calories you burn and the higher your metabolism will stay.
For 2010: Be active. Even if it means taking stairs instead of the elevator, walking at lunch hour, walking to work instead of taking the train ... just move.
Get real in 2010! Change your life by changing your mentality towards health, nutrition, and wellness. Stop dieting, start eating, and start seeing the results that you want ... for the long term!
By: Sheer Balance