diets don't work: hand wrapped in a tape measure
Health Mindful Eating

3 Reasons Why Diets Don’t Work, and What to do Instead

Diets don’t work. I’m just going to get to the point. 

Now let me just say really quick for those of you who might be ready to jump down my throat. If you’ve been prescribed by a doctor to follow a certain diet because it’s going to help get you on a path to healthy living, then you should be following that diet. 

But for those of us who hear about the next new diet that’s helping others shed 50 pounds in a month, we’re enticed to follow that new diet to achieve the same results. 

Here’s where diets go wrong. 

1. Why diets don’t work: restriction

One of my biggest qualms with diets is the restriction. Eliminating foods that are actually good for your body does not help you in the long run. This elimination is also not sustainable for the long run

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

If you have celiacs, or are allergic to a certain food, then yes, taking that food out of your diet is necessary. But if you’re eliminating a certain food because the diet told you to do so, does not help your body. You need food to function, and if you’re being super restrictive, your body cannot run at its peak potential. 

Not to mention that restricting foods can take all of the enjoyment out of eating. It can also lead to binge eating when you’re “allowed” to introduce that food back into your lifestyle. 

Instead, let’s focus on portion control. Rather than limiting foods, start to look at what your body reacts to best. If you know you feel really bloated or don’t feel that great after eating dairy, then eat less, or slowly start to take it out of your diet. 

Really take a look at how much it is you’re eating. I’m not saying weigh all of your foods, but be more conscious of how much you’re eating. Stop eating when you’re full. If you need help with portion control {because I know how hard it can be to do so} check out these perfect portion containers

They’ll help you manage your portions and become more cognizant of what, and how much you’re eating on a daily basis. 

2. Why diets don’t work: yo-yo dieting

You’ve heard the term yo-yo dieting before. Where you lose weight on one diet, and then as soon as it’s over, you’re right back to where you started. Or even worse, you’ve gained back more weight than when you started in the first place. 

30-day diets, or fad diets don’t help teach healthy techniques. You’re told to follow a certain {likely restrictive} plan for a certain period of time, but you’re never told why. You blindly follow along, but as soon as the diet is done, your old habits come back into play. 

plates of pancakes with strawberries on top

Rather than following the next best thing when it comes to dieting, look at creating healthy habits. 

Do you drink soda every day? Do you eat any vegetables during the day? Take stock of the habits you currently have when it comes to your diet. Then slowly start to replace those habits with healthier ones. 

For example, if you drink one soda a day, every single day, start by replacing three sodas a week with a flavored water. Sugar is the biggest culprit in soda, so reducing your sugar intake will help you to see some weight loss. Adding in a flavored water will still give you that sweet taste without all of the sugar. 

Starting with small, manageable healthy habits will help you to see changes in your body in the long run. This is not something that’s going to change overnight for you. You have to be willing to make some changes and start small. You just need to start. 

3. Why diets don’t work: cheat meals

Ugh, this word gives me hives every time I read it. 

“I cheated on my diet.” Or, “I can’t wait to eat {fill in the blank} for my cheat meal.”

Photo by Robin Stickel on Unsplash

Diets have started to instill a sense of anguish in us if we “cheat” or eat something that’s off the plan.

I remember this feeling oh so well. I was on Weight Watchers for over five years. I tried multiple diets in between thinking that maybe if I just tried a little harder, or I didn’t eat that one slice of pizza I really wanted, I would finally lose the weight that seemed to hang on. 

What I realized was that my “cheating” was actually causing me so much anxiety around food. I struggled to feel comfortable with food. I would obsess over how many points a half cup of rice was. Or that if I went out for dinner I would blow my entire points allowance on my “cheat” meal. 

That was the instance I switched to mindful eating. Well, honestly, it took me time to fully give in to mindful eating. Mainly because I was so accustomed to a traditional diet. 

But the moment I realized that listening to what my body was craving, and watching my portions, the weight started to fall off. I became comfortable with food again. I didn’t have anxiety about eating. Once I made that mental shift, my body stopped holding on to that extra weight. 

It’s not easy to break the diet lifestyle. But if you’ve been feeling any of these feelings towards the diet you’ve been following and want to know more about mindful eating, then check out the Mindful Eating Journal. It will help guide you through breaking the diet cycle and how to truly enjoy food again. 

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The best diets should not be complicated. In fact, dieting is hurting your weight loss capabilities. If you're looking for the best way to lose weight, find out why diets don't work for weight loss, and what to do instead. #weightloss #dieting #healthyhabits #mindfuleating
If you've been struggling with weight loss and wondering why keto, paleo, Weight Watchers, Atkins or any other diet isn't working for you, then read why it is that diets are sabotaging your weight loss and what to do instead. #healthylifestyle #weightlossforwomen #bestdiet #newdiet

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