For a second I will try to forget the fact that I am a nutritionist and I will recall my early years of struggle with weight loss. Thinking about the amount of time, energy and money that I have spent on dieting with absolutely NOTHING in return, I could have double majored music at dental school or I could have fulfilled my childhood dream of becoming an astronaut.
Out of 15 years of personal experience with weight loss and dieting, here are 7 reasons why your diet will fail:
1 - Diets are not designed to last
Have you ever met someone who have managed to commit to a diet for more than 3 months and then maintain the progress for another 3 months? Have you ever met someone who reached this "promise land" of post dieting maintenance phase? If you ever meet that person, please make sure to put me in contact.
2- Diets are boring
Could you face yourself in the mirror and accept the fact that this is how you will be eating for the rest of your life? I don't think so. I believe that most of you would agree that life would be miserable if we had to eat steamed veggies and cut down the carbs every day.
Food is exciting and rewarding. If we take out the pleasure of food from life, we miss out a lot.
3- Dieting is just a mean to an end
Since diets are not enjoyable, they become just a "sacrifice", a few months of misery, in order to reach our goals (which seems not to happen) . Then what?
Well, we get to compensate for everything we have been missing out on. “Remember that night everyone but me were having this pizza burger....where was that again?".
For most dieters, the point of dieting is to lose the weight in order to be able to eat again the way they want with no restrictions. Does it make any sense?! We end up not living nor do we enjoy our everyday lives. We keep on missing out on the fun and cringe at our bitter diets.
4- Diets are not effective
Most of the diets out there are based on Myths.
- "All day bananas will help you lose the weight."
- "Eat less and you will lose more"
- "Low fat diets"
You will drop a few kilograms at first and you will think that it is working, then you will go into a depressing plateau phase, which will frustrate you to an extent that you will abort mission and start eating again.
Most of these diets are based on poor research studies, and are used for commercial purpose aka to trick us into buying it.
5- Diets will trigger weight gain
Most of the studies done to track the weight of dieters have found that they tend to add more weight than when they started.
The reason behind it is not a mystery. Since diets tend to restrict everything enjoyable about food. As soon as you will stop your diet, you will overeat from all the goods that you have been deprived off. You will eat more than your usual.
6- Diets are not healthy
Unfortunately most of the diets out there are based either on eliminating a type of food or adding too much of a certain food. (low carbs, low fat, High proteins, high fats etc) The thing is, we need all sorts of food in a good balance, in order for our body to function properly.
This is why most of the dieters suffer from may nutrients deficiencies. They feel low on energy and not able to perform properly. They even do look sick!
7- Diets are one size fit all
Any of you have been to a dietitian before knows what I am talking about. Each time you go, the doctor pulls out a paper – with lots of coloured writing on it - and hands it on to you. On your way out, you will notice that everyone is holding the same paper.
Diets assume that we all have the same bodies. Our metabolism is the same and that male’s burn fat the same way females do –That’s every woman’s dream- , not to mention how old you or what are is your daily activity level. Doesn’t matter, we all take the same diet and it should do its magic on all of us!
Sorry to burst your bubble, the only way to succeed in reaching your body composition goals, is by finding what works specifically for YOU. This happens by proper assessments and experimentations.
Dieting is such a miserable way to lose weight. Not just that, it is not effective, it compromises your health and it might trigger more weight gain in the future. Sounds like a horrible deal.
On the other hand, you should start build small healthy habits that are sustainable on the long run.