5 Reasons Why Diets Suck
As someone who has tried what feels like every diet under the sun, I can confidently say – diets suck. Yes, you might temporarily lose ten pounds, only to gain it all back as soon as you’ve achieved your goals, leaving you feeling even worse than when you started.
There are more diets than ever, yet obesity rates are at an all-time high – the proof is in the pudding, they simply don’t work.
What’s worse is diets make you feel like sh**, deprived and always hungry. They are unsustainable, ruin your health, your relationship with food and most importantly your relationship with yourself.
Read on to find how…
1. Diets can make you fatter
Research shows that most diets simply do not work. A study published in the British Medical Journal looked at 14 popular diets and found that NONE – I repeat, NONE of them produced weight-loss results that were measurable after one year.
What’s even worse, is that dieting may actually lead to weight gain in the long term. When we diet, our bodies do not know that we’re dieting, instead it thinks we’re starving. The constant mode of starvation as the result of dieting causes the metabolism to slow down as the body seeks to protect itself and conserve energy, meaning two things:
1) A starving body burns a lot less calories than a well-fed body.
2) When we do eat again, our metabolism has a hard time cranking back up again. The result – weight gain.
2. Diets make you feel bad about yourself
Starting a new diet feels good, the energy, the focus and the excitement at the possibility of a new, slimmer and better you. Sound familiar? Then you probably know that this honeymoon period doesn’t last.
Very quickly fatigue and frustration with the lack of food choices sets in. You end up missing social events and dinner with friends just so you can stay on track and not put yourself in a position to fail. You end up feeling depressed, isolated, hungry and cranky. So, you go off the plan and end up beating yourself up over it, blaming your lack of willpower.
The truth is, it’s not your fault. The system is rigged and not in your favour. The diet industry wants you to fail so that they can make more money off you, which is why you’ve been on that hamster wheel of deprivation for so long.
3. Diets are bad for your health
Maintaining a healthy weight is always a good idea, however the way we go about doing that is often times super unhealthy. Eliminating entire food groups from your diet is unhealthy. Living on nothing but processed protein bars, shakes and detox teas is unhealthy. Starving yourself until your metabolism slows down and your hair begins to thin out is unhealthy. Over-exercising until you’re so fatigued that you can’t function is unhealthy.
Your body is made for a variety of foods, you need fats, carbs and protein to thrive. Starving your body and cutting off its supply of nutrient-rich foods is not going to help you lose weight and it is most certainly not going to make you healthy. It will only make you sick, stresses, depressed and miserable.
4. Most diets focus on calories
Calories are not the be all and end all of weight loss. In fact, through my weight loss journey I learned that it was more important to reduce the chemicals I was consuming rather than the calories. If you drink a SlimFast and then eat a packet of low-calorie crisps, you’re not being healthy. You’re literally destroying your body.
While not eating too much is key for weight loss, the quality and variety of the food that you eat is imperative. Chemically laden, heavily processed food stuffs is often devoid of nutrients and will leaves you permanently hungry and craving more.
5. Diets make you feel deprived
When we are told we can’t eat something, we want to eat it even more – it’s psychological. Constant deprivation and hunger, whether it’s because you’re not eating enough, or not eating enough of the right foods, ultimately leads to binge eating. If you’re just constantly trying really, really hard not to do something, it is unsustainable and will lead to failure.
F*** diets, willpower and depriving yourself! A good place to start is a big dose of self-love and a shift in the way you think about food for good. Instead of counting calories, restricting and punishing yourself, eat intuitively, notice how different foods make you feel, both in your body and in your mind. We are all used to eating mindlessly. Don’t change anything in your diet, just start to notice the effect of what you consume.
Throw out the weight-loss shakes and fill up on nutrient-dense, whole foods as close to their natural state as possible. Fuel your body with a good balance of proteins, veg, and fats, so you’re far more likely to feel full and happy rather than hangry. Focus on quality rather than quantity and eat to be healthy, not to be slim.