If you are trying to lose weight, then chances are you have dieted at least once before.
Different FAD diets have different controversies, but they are all branches of the same tree.
A diet will often feel as exciting as a new relationship. It comes at a moment of peak motivation or urgency to lose some weight. The promised results are very appealing, and the success stories make embarking on that diet sound like a no brainer. “If it worked for everyone then it must work for me” your mind says. The combination of peak motivation, an appealing-sworn-by diet and some immediate results causes this massive excitement in your life that will inevitably die down leaving you with a sense of failure. This ultimately makes the weight loss process harder than it is.
Here are 5 reasons why diets set you up for failure and what you should do instead.
1. Diets Are Like Flings
Seriously, what else sounds exciting, reaches a peak moment quickly, feels great in the short term and then suddenly drops off and fails? The process is the same. The reason why most flings fail is because they lack meaning and depth. They’re too general and are mainly based on appearance. The same is true of a diet. We judge a diet based on its appearance or the results it promises. We do not study it in depth to find out if it’s for us or not.
Instead, we need to understand why and how a diet would work for us before we decide to give it a try. The logic has to back up the promised results, and the logic is based on who you are and the science of the diet.
2. All Diets Have These Two Things
Regardless of the FAD diet, they all have 2 things in common; a beginning and an end. On the other hand, a lifestyle has a beginning and no foreseeable end (the end is when your life ends, hence the “life-style”). In simple logical terms: If you gained weight because your old lifestyle was X for a while, and you go on diet Y to lose the weight and succeed, then you must continue doing Y to keep the weight off, because if you go back to doing X then you will gain weight like you originally did. Therefore, if you are able to continue doing Y then it is no longer a diet, it’s a “lifestyle”. However, if you are unable to continue with Y and it reaches an end point. Then it’s a diet. In most cases, when people go back to doing X then they gain the weight again.
3. The Reviews You See Are Highs
In life, there’s highs and lows. The key is to set standards for our low points. Most reviews you see on a diet are posted when people reach their peak moment or “highs”, they lose 5-8 lbs and swear the diet is working. This often happens very rapidly and in the first few weeks. However, what you do not see is the long-term lows, which can be more weight gained then lost. Ever heard of the follow-up study on the “World’s biggest loser?” when the participants were followed up with years later, most were found to have gained more weight than they had lost on the show.
4. They Can Cause More Problems
Most diets will cause a few big problems without teaching you how to solve for them. Some of the problems can be: restrictive eating while dieting which can result in a second problem: binging.
5. It Ignores Your Mindset
Everyone has a different story made up of many factors such as why they want to lose weight, how they gained weight, their perception of themselves, and weight loss and what will motivate them to continue losing weight. These factors are a small component of the massive mindset. Often a battle is won in the mind first, and when you embark on a diet without looking into your mindset then you fail to win it before you even start it. The result is failure due to a weak approach.
So before starting a diet. Ask yourself these 5 crucial questions:
1. Why am I choosing this diet?
2. Am I going to turn it into a lifestyle? How?
3. Is it a healthy and realistic lifestyle for me?
4.Why do I want to lose weight?
5.What will keep me motivated when life throws obstacles in the way?
Or you can speak to one of our Dietitians who can ask you more of those questions.
The battle is won in your mind first!
To a better you.
Mohamed Rezk, RD
Mohamed is an experienced and passionate Registered Dietitian who founded RNC in 2015 and is part of Cleveland Clinic Canada's team of experts working in the Executive Health Program. His expertise lies in designing the appropriate environment where his clients can transform their lifestyle and become better versions of themselves. Mohamed believes that the first step to growing in all areas of your life is building a lifestyle that is healthy for your mind and body. His programs has helped many people lose weight permanently and experience tremendous growth in their careers, relationships and quality of life.