There are many reasons dieting doesn’t work for most people. Some of those reasons rest in the basic concepts behind diets. More power to you if you can seriously reduce your carb intake on a permanent basis, but most of us don’t have the time or the energy. Other reasons dieting doesn’t work for most people rest in basic human behaviour.
1.YOU’RE TOO BUSY: I have been through many diets in my lifetime. At the more ridiculous end of the scale was a juice diet, which lasted about half a day. Then on the more sensible end was Weight Watchers. Let’s just say I never want to hear the word ‘point’ again after that. Many are successful in the short-term, but one of the main reasons dieting doesn’t work for most people is that we are just too busy to permanently follow a regimen. The vast, vast majority of programs require continuous planning. Sometimes it is just nice to grab and go.
2. YOU MAY EAT MORE THAN IS NECESSARY: I am by no means exaggerating when I say that actually paying attention to what I eat makes me put on more weight. This does make sense. While guidelines do have a lot of science behind them, they are not hard and fast rules we all have to live by. If you force yourself to eat every three hours, eat at certain times, or strike a ‘perfect’ balance, you may eat more than you need to. This is certainly true for me, and many other people I know. Instead of listening to a guideline, listen to your body. Eat slowly, pay attention to hunger cues, and you should meet your body’s needs based on instincts alone and maintain a good weight.
3. THEY REQUIRE WILLPOWER, NOT LIFESTYLE CHANGES: Diets require you to adhere to set rules, which requires significant willpower. For the majority of us, there is no ‘magic’ approach. The dieting industry is a multi-billion-dollar empire that makes us believe we need to live by someone else’s rules to succeed and be healthy. Guess what? We don’t! Rather than dieting, take a look at where you are going wrong. For me, this has always meant large portion sizes and grazing too much throughout the day. Instigate changes that work for you (slowly) and you will find the right balance.
4. YOU DEPRIVE YOURSELF: I have noticed a sneaky pattern with diets. They trick us into believing they are amazing with these so-called two-week ‘induction’ phases. Usually, these phases involve cutting out an entire food group. Sure, you will lose a lot of weight, but you will become downright miserable in the process. When you do come to the point where you slowly add in more food, you are highly likely to crash and put weight back on. Don’t deprive yourself of anything drastically; just be sensible.
5. YOU DON’T ADDRESS YOUR EMOTIONS: Most of us overeat because of some emotion or another. If someone annoys me, I start munching. In contrast, if I am feeling loved up my stomach is in knots and I am like “Food? What the heck is that?” Start eating healthily by all means, but, make sure you start addressing how you respond to negative emotions too. Maybe, instead of eating A LOT when someone drags you down, eat a little of something amazing, do a little yoga, and see how you feel then. By addressing your emotions without the added stress of a strict diet, you can solve most of your overeating problems.
6. EATING IS PLEASURABLE: Whoever said, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels” is absolutely wrong. When you eat something decadent or tasty, the reward centres in your brain go nuts for it. Guess what? That’s absolutely okay! Diets don’t allow us to have that enjoyable relationship with food. Here’s the thing: many of us don’t enjoy those sensations enough, because we don’t eat consciously. Rather than cutting out the foods you love, eat them consciously. The second they start to lose that “Wow this is amazing” taste, stop eating them. Make sure everything you eat that is decadent reaches its full potential without becoming aimless consumption and you will soon see some changes.
Okay, so everyone knows someone’s sister/brother/aunt/whoever who ABSOLUTELY did lose 200lbs on Atkins and kept the weight off. That’s fantastic for them! Statistically, 95% of us will put weight back on after dieting. To become an anti-dieter, develop a great relationship with food, and enjoy life. If you are an anti-dieter too, how do you enjoy food as part of a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle?