Seriously, Are All Diet Plans Made To Fail? Or Is There Something Else Going On?
The state of affairs is, well, not great.
Last I checked, 7 out of 10 adults in the western world could stand to lose a few (or more) pounds!
However, a startling statistic has shown that the majority of people who follow a calorie restricted diet approach to lose weight end u pjust as over weight or more so several years down the road.
We all probably know this.
Some research studies have even shown those who have gone on diets may actually be more likely to be overweight down the road than those who didn’t!
And that’s exactly the purpose of today’s post.
To identify why diet plans fail and what we can (practically) do about it.
Now, there’s certainly many women who successfully lose weight and keep it off through a careful diet, and the true percentage of people who fail to achieve long-term success on a diet may not actually be as high as in the studies (due to issues with the way these studies are conducted), it is still pretty easy to dismiss diets and dieting as an ineffective approach for weight loss.
Then there’s also a significant amount of women who, while “on diets”, try other unproven methods to lose weight. Like trying diet pills, dubious weight loss creams, fancy body wraps, and even all those extracts and ketones.
Whether the reasons for diets failing to get long-term weight loss results are physiological (fighting the body’s fat “set-point”) and/or psychological (no one wants to feel deprived of the foods they enjoy), “diets don’t work” has become a common mantra.
I hereby declare that the statement “diets don’t work” is both true and false. The key is to understand is how language and context plays a role in all of this. Conventional thinking on diets can sabotage your results and keep you stuck, however, one simple shift in thinking may be all it takes to finally achieve lasting success.
The first thing to realize is that “diet” can refer to a number of things. Looking at a dictionary definition, we can see that diet can refer to either a means of eating sparingly to reduce weight OR it can be used to simply refer to the habitual way someone eats.
The problem is, for some people when they hear the word diet, they automatically assume it means a restricted way of eating.
Typically, along the lines of eating far less food than usual (starving yourself), and/or only eating boring and bland “health” food like plain lettuce, broccoli, and celery sticks.
This means that the word diet gets linked with feelings of agonizing restriction and deprivation of one of life’s greatest pleasures, eating great tasting food.
It’s no wonder some people have such as hard time sticking with a diet when the idea of a diet feels like a prison sentence!
But I would say even if a person eats ice cream and cheeseburgers all day, they’re still on a “diet.” That is, we’re all on a diet in that we all have a particular, often habitual way of eating. For some people, that’s simply a “see food” diet of you see it, you eat it.
This leads us to another phrase I don’t care for, and that is – “going on a diet.”
Technically, since a diet is something that everyone is already “on,” it’s impossible to go “on a diet.”
Rather, one can only “adjust their diet” or perhaps “go on a specific diet.” This once again has to do with defining diet as “the way someone eats.”
Here’s another issue with “going on a diet,” and that is the implication that if you “go on a diet” you may then “come off a diet.” What good is it to actually find a great diet that will get you the healthy body you’ve always wanted, only to “come off” that diet, eat like crap, and then lose all the beneficial results you’ve achieved?
A person’s diet for better or worse should be looked at as a way of life.
So Here’s That ONE Change That Can Help With Sticking To A Diet
The very first step in sticking with a diet, is to not see a diet as a means to an end, but rather as an ongoing lifestyle HABIT that you are already engaged in.
Instead of looking at a diet as something to add into your life, see a diet as something you’re already “on.”
When you look at it this way, “sticking with” a diet really means sticking with certain dietary habits you deem beneficial.
This means all you have to do is simply substitute a few dietary choices you’re already making with a few better choices, and make these better choices your new “normal.”
So now the question is this; “How is my current diet getting me closer to or further from the goals I have?”
Since there are countless books and resources out there for figuring out what to eat for any particular goal, and many people already have a basic idea of how they can start eating better, I won’t include that in this post.
But once you know what you need to change, the next question (which this book will answer) is this: “How can I make these changes become my new regular dietary habit?”
This my friends, is the much needed “missing link” that most diet programs don’t include.
It doesn’t help that many diets are simply designed to be “short term” fixes, and even the ones that are sustainable over the long term don’t make the effort to show the users how to make it part of their lifestyle.
While some short-term approaches certainly have their place, it’s absolutely critical you understand how to control your dietary habits so you can sustain any benefits a better diet will give you for the rest of your life.
And since I promised to help you with this, here’s a simple, 2-step practical method you can apply to your life.
Step 1 – Writing down a “30 Day Challenge” identifying just ONE habit you would like to change that will move you closer to your ideal diet
The trick is to include what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how you’re going to do it.
For instance: “(what) I’m replacing all sugary soft drinks with water (why) because soft drinks are causing me to gain excess fat and (how) I’m going to do it by carrying a large 1 gallon container of water with me at all times throughout my day so I’m never without water. (how) I will add some fresh lemon to the water and a bit of stevia if I’m looking to enhance the flavor.”
“(what) I will learn a new recipe every week (why) because if I enjoy the taste of the food I eat, I will easily be able to stick with my diet. (why)
Yet another personal example…
(what) My biggest challenge is that I hate the so-called “health” foods and don’t have much time to prepare my own food. But guess what, I also know that there are some really tasty meals that only take a few minutes to prepare. (why) So learning these new recipes will really help me stick to my diet.
(how) I will subscribe to at least 3 recipe blogs and good quality YouTube channels, and once a week I will browse through them for 15 minutes until I find a recipe that looks good. (how) I will set aside 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon from 3:30-4:00pm to make that week’s recipe.
Step 2 – Read your 30-day challenge goal to yourself daily
This keeps your focus on it. Visualize yourself doing the actions, enjoying the process, and succeeding.
The 30-day challenge will be something that is challenging (duh!) but easy enough you know you’ll be able to succeed.
After 30 days, choose a new “30-day challenge” while still, as best as possible, maintaining your previous habit you developed the 30 days prior.
Each month, you’re building upon what you’ve done before until your day to day habits have become completely transformed.
If you feel you can do something more significant, like take on changing multiple habits, or making more significant changes to your diet all at once, then go for it.
But this must be based on all the other things you have going on in your life.
A lot of times, we get really gung- ho at first only to burn out later. So it’s better to error on the side of doing just enough at first and adding more over time vs. overdoing it at first and burning out quickly.
So that’s that!
Now ask yourself, what things can I do for the next thirty days I know I’ll succeed at, but still be able to continue with for all the following months once I start adding more stuff in?
The idea here is that you’ll only need to focus on just a few things every month so you’re not getting overwhelmed. This prevents the typical problem of women trying to completely change all of their dietary habits all at once, and then quickly burning out and getting overwhelmed.
So try this new practical method for the next 30 days, and then come back here to tell me what happened! 🙂
I guarantee that you’ll see some awesome results… in your weight, and in the way you think about your weight!