The vast majority of people out there would like to shed a few pounds. And for most, finding a suitable diet is often the first step towards achieving their goals. But, there is a huge problem.
As many as two-thirds of dieters actually end up heavier than they were when they first started - and are actually unhealthier. Even those that get good results will soon slip back into bad habits and put that weight back on.
Clearly, there is something wrong with the entire concept of dieting - and today, we’re going to take a closer look at a few of the reasons why.
No one ever finishes
Most people that begin a new diet plan do so with the best of intentions. They spend an age building up to the start of the new program, and when it’s finally time to commit, they get stuck in with aplomb. The trouble is, dieting is hard. You are starving yourself of things that used to make you happy, which has an immediate impact on your motivation. And the truth is that you might not see positive results straight away, which affects your confidence. Ultimately, you end up being less committed to the process than you were when starting out, and you won’t even finish the plan.
It’s a temporary solution
Even if you finish your program, you can’t sustain a diet forever. And although you have managed to shift a few pounds, a return to your old ways will be more likely than an ability to keep dieting. Safe, proper weight loss involves making sweeping changes to your lifestyle - not spending two weeks eating lettuce leaves. Good nutrition and a healthy balance are what you should be aiming for - and the occasional treat isn’t going to do you any harm.
The calorie problem
Running at a calorie deficiency is widely known as the best way to lose weight. However, the simple fact is that it isn’t quite as simple as consuming less and burning more calories. Not all calories are equal - some can result in you losing weight; others can make you put it on. For example, while food with artificial sweeteners in them might not contain a whole bunch of calories, the chemicals in them tend to trigger sweet receptors and make you hungry. They also make your metabolism sluggish, which results in you putting on weight. So, don’t just see calories as an ‘in and out’ solution. Focus on eating low-glycemic foods like nuts, chicken, greens, and salads. And, keep consumption of grains, beans, and sugars to a minimum.
As humans, we all have an emotional connection with food. Think about the way we celebrate big occasions, and how the kitchen is the hub of the family home. The trouble is, when you are feeling down about your size and appearance, and are desperate to lose weight, it weighs heavy on the emotions. When you start your diet, you often find it hard to think rationally about what it is you are doing, and you might not have the mental strength to focus on your goals. Finally, emotional eating is a big issue for anyone wanting to lose weight, and you need to learn how to manage those feelings - perhaps a therapist can help.