Do you feel like a failure when it comes to dieting?
We’ve all been through the cycle – got on the bandwagon with the latest diet fad or joined a slimming club. We follow the rules and restrictions religiously for two or three weeks and start to see some results. We’re on top of the world – everything’s going well!
But then it starts to get harder – we’re craving those foods we’re not allowed and having dreams about running through the streets chasing a giant block of cheese. (No? Just me then?).
Maybe you reach your goal weight & think you can stop the diet?
Slowly though our old behaviours start to creep back in and before we know it we’re back where we started, or even worse, we’ve put MORE weight on.
Well I’ve got some good news for you! This doesn’t happen because you have no willpower or you’re not good enough. YOU are not the failure – your DIET is!
If these diets worked the diet industry wouldn’t exist. That’s so important I’m going to repeat it – if these diets worked the diet industry wouldn’t exist. Everyone would reach their goal weight and be able to maintain it easily. No more dieting!
But diets don’t work and this is why:
Most of these ‘quick fix’ diets work in the short term because they restrict calories, simple as. Not because you’ve dropped carbs, or started adding a magic ingredient to your smoothie. Through whatever trendy restriction they’re selling to you, you are eating fewer calories. With too large a calorie deficit your body will start to lose muscle as well as fat, which means your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) reduces – essentially you need fewer calories to just maintain your weight. When you start eating more calories again you put MORE weight back on. AKA yo-yo dieting.
DIETS TREAT THE SYMPTOMS BUT NOT THE CAUSE
If you need to lose fat, chances are there’s a reason behind it, and I don’t mean a genetic one. A tiny percentage of people have genetic problems that can’t be improved even slightly by a better diet. Most people overeat because they are anxious, stressed, sad, too busy, or even when they’re happy.
A huge percentage of diets leave us with a skewed attitude towards food – certain foods are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and need to be counted as ‘sins’. They don’t tackle the emotional side of eating.
Take weight loss clubs as an example. Good behaviour is rewarded by handing out stickers & badges. Great for the ‘loser’ of the week, but how about the other members, who may have had a stressful week at work and not been able to curb their emotional eating. They feel bad for failing again this week and the whole cycle starts again.
This classic carrot/stick system has been proven not to work:
Sure, when life is good and you’re feeling super motivated you abide by all the rules and regulations, but what about when you’re stressed at work or with the family, or going through a break up, or constantly tired? Can you do it then? Long term change should be sustainable.
So how do you spot a ‘bad’ diet? If the regime you’re following encourages any of the following it’s time to bin it and try something new:
- Restriction of one or more food groups
- Rules restricting WHEN you can eat
- Not centred around whole foods – tablets, meal replacement shakes etc.
- Counting calories, points or sins
- Focusing on ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods rather than behaviours
As much as I love all my Ninja’s, I don’t want them to be my clients forever. If they have to stay with me forever I’m not doing my job properly! My goal, with every single client, is to teach them how to eat well for life without my help. Some come back occasionally for specific goals, such as running a marathon, and some just catch up with me once per month because they like the accountability. But on the whole what they learn with me stays with them for life.
So what is the answer?
FOCUS ON HABITS, NOT FOOD – To be successful in the long term with our nutrition we need to break our habits and we also need to feel good while doing it. Without getting too science-y, we need to change our brains neural pathways and you do this over time with sustained, repeated behaviour.
TAKE YOUR TIME – Be realistic, how long did it take you to put on the weight? Why do you think a ‘drop a dress size in a week’ diet is going to work?
START SMALL – make your changes small and achievable. Think about how it would feel to grow in confidence every day as you learn to make the right food choices and become amazed at how easy it is to say ‘No’. Wouldn’t that feel different to the short-term elation of losing 5kgs and then the despair of putting it all back on when you return to your normal eating patterns?
BE CONSISTENT – Long term weight loss isn’t as exciting & sexy as saying I lost 10lbs in 10 days. It’s a pretty boring routine actually! But guess what – our bodies and brains like routine, they thrive on it. And making the right choices every day, going to bed and waking up at the same time, exercising regularly, having a morning or bed time routine – these things contribute to better health. Consistency is key.
ENJOY THE PROCESS – it may seem silly at first to start so small, & maybe a bit disheartening as you see your friend who’s on a juice cleanse lose twice as much as you this month. But who wants to drink kale juice 5 times a day? She’s miserable, you’re not. This is your new lifestyle, take pleasure in the little things and don’t obsess over the end result.
Eating well shouldn’t be a choice between being happy or being healthy – you CAN have both!
If you’re wondering where on earth you can find a nutrition programme that does all of this for you look no further!
My online, 365-day Ninja transformation programme is a habit-based nutrition coaching programme that WILL help you achieve your goals.
If it sounds so different to anything you’ve tried before you might be wondering if it works. I’m happy to answer that with a resounding YES!
Which other nutrition coaching system can provide that?
To join our super successful Ninja community send me an email & I’d be happy to arrange a quick Skype call to talk to you about it.