Five reasons why diets fail (and what to do instead)

“I lost 9lbs doing {insert trendy diet here} and gained 14lbs back”. 

This is not a surprising story for me to hear. In fact, I hear this same story all the time in my Health Coaching practice. 

At best, weight-loss diets are a temporary fix. You get all excited because you finally dropped a few lbs, but then once the diet is over – then what?  Most people gain the weight back, and some gain even more pounds back then they lost.  This leads to unhealthy yo-yo-ing of weight.

And the sad part, is that people often blame THEMSELVES! They say things like “I have no willpower”, “Why can’t I just get this right?”,  “My metabolism must be broken” and “There must be something wrong with me”.

Listen. There is nothing wrong with you. 

I know you have willpower and motivation because I see you working your ass off getting that last minute sales pitch together. I see you rising through the ranks at work, being the boss that you are.  You’re not lazy.

There are thousands of diet books on the market and different ways to diet. And they probably all work to some extent for a short period of time. But each person is unique – not every diet takes into consideration your overall health (not just your weight!), your lifestyle, how food makes you physically feel, your relationship with food and how much food is right for YOU specifically. 

So you’re not lazy. You were just duped. 

Want to know the 5 Reasons Why Diets Fail and what to do instead?  Read on.

  1. Diets are too rigid. I’m a rule follower. I don’t want to rock the boat or piss anyone off.  But you know what rules I refuse to follow?  Diet rules. “Eat a certain time, don’t eat this, definitely don’t eat that….” There are too many rules to follow when you are on a diet.  And sometimes even the best rule-followers can get sick of following all the rules. When a diet is too rigid, it can be extremely hard to sustain.  Too much rigidity caters to the “all or nothing” mentality that causes so many people to stop the rigid diet, and then reach for another one a year later. Instead, create your own rules. Learn and reflect on what actually works for you, learn what makes you feel really good, and notice what you enjoy and can sustain so you don’t feel like you are in the constant shackles of a diet.
  2. Diets don’t teach you how to live outside the diet. What do you do when you’re at a wedding? Or if all of your friends are going out to an Italian restaurant?  Then what? In order to maintain a healthy body and mind, and social life, you need to be able to be flexible with your food choices. You shouldn’t have to leave a party early because the desserts are coming out. Instead, work on achieving a balance with healthy-eating with the choice-meals that you truly love, so you can still enjoy your moms home-made pie or have a cocktail or two on a Friday night.
  3. Diets don’t focus on health creation. My primary focus with my clients is to create health in the body. I’m a huge believer that excess weight is a symptom of an imbalance in the body: whether that is from hormonal imbalance, stress, poor gut health, or inflammation. Once you start to create health, weight loss becomes a positive and natural byproduct of health creation. The weight starts to fall off without having to count anything.  Instead, focus on fueling your body with nutrients, so your body feels safe and can drop weight easily. Ask yourself, how is this helping my body function properly? 
  4. Diets don’t teach you to listen to your body. When you blindly follow rules, you are not acting as a partner with your body, to understand how food impacts you and honor what it needs.   Our bodies have a ton of wisdom to them, they can tell us when we should eat, how much we should eat, what kinds of foods it likes, what kinds of foods it doesn’t like.  The problem is that we just don’t listen to them.. When you’re dieting, you are removing your own intuition from the equation. Instead, learn to listen to your body so you can make your own choices about what to eat. Take note of your hunger and fullness scales, reflect on how food impacts your energy and mood, your skin and digestion.  You might not relate these things back to your weight, but they are ALL signs of something being out of balance in the body. After all, the body is an intricate and interconnected being. 
  5. Wellness is not a destination.  Diets are short-term because they are really only sustainable for short periods of time.  Once you stop doing the diet, if you go back to old ways of doing things, the weight will surely come back on. So, instead of torturing yourself for 3-6 months of intense dieting, its important to develop a healthy relationship with food, learn to eat from a place of health creation and intuition, and make sure what you are eating is actually enjoyable.  Otherwise it won’t last.

PS. Want to know the 3 most important shifts my clients make to lose weight without deprivation or trendy diets? Unlike typical approaches to weight-loss, which only focus on calories, points or never eating pasta again, these shifts have my clients eating intuitively and with their body so they can stop dieting for good and focus on more important things.

> No more dieting for short periods of time and then falling off

> No more self-sabotage

> Lose weight in a maintainable and sustainable way

> Create the wellness lifestyle you’ve dreamed of

If you want to learn how to do this in a way that won’t have you looking for a new diet in 6 months, download this guide now.

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