Saturday, November 5, 2011

Why Diets Don't Work: And What Does!

     Many people people believe that a healthy weight and lifestyle are difficult to achieve.  So, many turn to a diet in hopes of achieving the body or lifestyle that they want.  Diets can be dangerous and harmful to the body AND your health! Here's why they don't work...and find out what does!

     What is a diet?  Most of us know a diet as a temporary program to help us achieve a goal.  This diet usually consists of restriction of how, what and how much to eat.  I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like much fun to me!

     Yes, a diet might work in the short term to achieve your goal, but the results don't go beyond that.  The vast majority of dieters gain their weight back within 5 years or less, sometimes they gain even more than before they dieted.  That's a lot of hard work to just go back (or worse) to where you were before!  Since a diet is just temporary, it will not work in the long term.  A diet is so unnatural that we would never be able to stick with it in the long term.  Restrictive diets often lead you to over eat or go on a binge cycle.  Since your body does not want you to starve, you crave what you can't have.  Your body will go into deprivation mode, slowing your metabolism, making it even harder for you to lose weight!

     Diets give unrealistic recommendations and restrictions that are health threatening.  They deprive your body of the essential nutrients that your body needs instead of teaching us safe and effective ways to eat healthy and exercise.  Many diets force you to lower your daily caloric intake to dangerous levels.  The problem is, when your restrict your calories less then what your body needs to survive your body will break down muscle along with fat in order to get what it needs to survive.

     Sooner or later we will become tired of the rules, lack of choices, the complexity and hunger of our diet so we quit and begin the cycle of "yo-yo dieting".  Every time we start a new diet, it becomes more difficult to lose weight, so we get frustrated and eat more and exercise less.  Then we get frustrated with ourselves and try a new diet and the cycle continues.  It's a viscous cycle isn't it?

     Diets leave us incapable of listening to our bodies needs and to enjoy food.  They can also lead to eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression instead of teaching us how to eat healthy, exercise and make smart choices.

     So what does work?  Regular exercise and making smart food choices.  Sound too easy to be true?  It's not!  It doesn't have to be time consuming.  You can start by making small, gradual changes.  Find healthy foods and exercises that you enjoy.  Try new recipes, group fitness class or find a friend to go walking with.  You don't need a gym or expensive personal trainer to meet your goals.  Refer to the food pyramid as a great guide to portion control and what your plate should look like.  Remember to eat breakfast lunch and dinner, with a small snack in between.  Make it fun!

     With smart eating a regular exercise, you are guaranteed to see results.  It may take sometime..but it is so worth it!