“Weight loss isn’t a temporary thing. It is a lifestyle change.” – Walter Adamson
By choosing to read this article, chances are you have decided to make a change (for the better) in your lifestyle……namely, your eating habits.
The fact that this part of your life and is something you would like to improve is admirable.
So many of us get caught up in the fast and furious pace of everyday life that we do not even realize just how poorly our food choices have become!
Regardless of what job you may do and what your hobbies or goals are, the choices you make when it comes to fueling your body are the absolute foundation for longevity and peak performance.
Frequent stops at the drive thru on your way home and quick and easy microwaved “meals” only lead to decreased performance in everything you do as well as your overall quality of life.
It is also the precursor to life-long weight gain and poor health.
Diets come and go with regular monotony……..all screaming at you with dubious marketing claims about being bigger and better than last month’s big weight loss discovery.
Well here is one fact you need to come to grips with pronto: Diets Don’t Work.
This is not about specific diets, although there are a few I would suggest you avoid at all costs, but it is about four key characteristics of any diet you may consider starting that will serve as bright red flags and a warning to you to steer well clear!
1. Extreme Caloric Restriction
One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of fad diets make is encouraging people to drastically reduce their caloric intake from day one.
For example, the standard diet usually consists of around 2,000 calories…….depending on your gender and body size.
If any diet instructs you to only consume, let’s say, 1,200 calories from the very beginning, forget about it!
This is a fallacy for a couple of reasons.
First of all, the most important aspect of any diet you choose to follow is consistency.
If you fall of the wagon after a week or so, every eating plan ever created is going to fail. Do you want to know a great way to avoid sticking to a diet?
Being miserable will get you there very QUICKLY!
Another reason this type of diet is a big no-no is the bodily response to acute caloric restriction.
Sure, reducing your caloric intake is how weight is lost. However, this should be done gradually.
It is all about the power of tiny gains…….what I refer to as the 1% rule or, continuous improvement.
Ironically, when you instantly begin eating far less calories than the body is used to, you actually signal a sort of starvation response.
Your body is literally hardwired for survival, and instead of shedding excess body-weight it will literally do everything it can to spare it.
The end result: being hungry all the time and still not losing weight.
2. Completely Eliminating a Macro-nutrient
Just in case you are not aware, there are three key macro nutrients: carbs, protein and fat.
Your body needs each of these to repair and carry out vital functions.
While it is true that consuming a proper ratio of these nutrients is beneficial, eliminating any of them entirely, or by a high percentage (e.g. Keto), is a mistake.
Many diets that you are sure to come across will preach the miracle of abstaining from a certain macronutrient for a lengthy period of time.
Simply put, don’t buy into it!
3. Weekly or Daily “Cheat Meals”
Remember how we talked about the importance of consistency as it pertains to sticking to a diet?
Well here’s the thing: a healthy relationship with food needs to be a lifestyle, not a 6-week crash course.
If you notice, a lot of diets basically have you starving yourself or eating things you hate all week before “allowing” you to have a cheat meal or day on the weekend.
Essentially, you deprive yourself of enjoying food for days on end and then gorge on an unhealthy feast of your choice for one day. This is one of the reasons why diets don’t work.
Make no mistake; one day of stuffing your face with junk food CAN undo an entire week of healthy eating.
Your body doesn’t just reset its caloric calculator every morning; there is no “cycle”.
And what’s more, this way of eating significantly increases your chances of developing an eating disorder.
4. General Outlandishness – Crazy Diets!
Let’s keep this one simple.
If a particular diet sounds absolutely ridiculous, then make no mistake – it is.
For example, consuming every single meal in liquid form or only eating celery sticks and quinoa for two weeks is not going to magically chisel out your six pack beach body.
Use your own discretion here.
You are not a lab rat taking part in a clinical trial.
Any lifestyle change (diet) you decide to adhere to needs to at least appear reasonable from the get go and something you can stick with for the long term.
“Living a healthier life is more than losing weight; it’s about losing the mindset that got you there in the first place.” – Elle Sommer.
Hope this helps.
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Mentor and Coach.
P.S. Help a friend to better health – like and share – thanks.
P.P.S. Here is something else that will help. It is a Daily Dozen Checklist for Healthy Weight Loss by Dr. Michael Greger, a physician who specializes in clinical nutrition and he calls it his Daily Dozen — a summary of all the “healthiest of healthy foods” and habits he tries to fit into his daily routine to stay slim and prevent disease.
And remember, your end goal is to find a healthy diet that’s sustainable, enjoyable and convenient. Cheers – John.