Why Diets Don’t Work

I can’t say “I’ve tried ’em all” when it comes to fad diets.  However, I’ve tried a few.  But this seems to be a common theme with many people when it comes to losing weight.  Should you go low-carb, high-fat, Nutrisystem, Atkins, Mediterranean Diet, South Beach, whatever.  What I’ve found is that it doesn’t matter what diet you try; you won’t be successful if you think of it as a “diet”.

This brings me to why I chose the tagline for my blog “It’s not a diet; it’s a lifestyle change.”  Diets don’t work.  Period.  Unless you’re totally ok with losing a few pounds temporarily and then just putting it back on and then some once you’re off your diet, diets don’t work.  From my experience, the human body is extremely delicate and only wants to be left alone so it can do its job.  If you go on a low-carb diet, where you eat nothing but bacon, cauliflower, and a pound of cheese a day (more on why this is awful for your body in a later post), you may lose some weight initially.  But let’s be honest, no matter how much you may enjoy those foods at first, if you think of it as a temporary fix and that you will drop weight and then resume your old eating habits, your body will just put back that weight on faster than before.  There is a reason that we are overweight.  We eat too much of the wrong stuff.  We eat too much fast food.  We consume crazy amounts of empty-calories in sugary beverages.  Our portions are waaaaay too much (this one was my big one).  We don’t eat enough natural foods.  We don’t cook at home enough.  If you want to see weight loss that will last your lifetime, you MUST cut out at least one of these habits.  Before I lost a bunch of weight, I avoided this fact because for some reason, I didn’t want to give anything up.  That old saying “Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels” honestly, I feel is somewhat true, however I would change it a bit to be “Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels”.  (In a previous post, I talked about how I have a cheat meal once a week.  This allows me to have my food I am craving, but I don’t go overboard and binge eat.   I get my taste and then go back to my life.)

I screw up eating habits all the time, but I know what I need to do to get back on track.  For example, two weeks ago I attended a Special Education conference at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.  My coworkers and I were there for 3 days.  During this time, I drank some booze to excess, ate dessert three times, ate bar food and room service, didn’t exercise, and  sat around listening to speakers a lot.  I got home on Sunday and saw that I had put on like 5 pounds.  Now this could be water retention as well, but a lot of it had to do with my crappy lifestyle choices.  In 3 days (3 DAYS!!!) my body was thinking “Oh yeah!  I remember this!  This reminds me of the old days!”  Luckily, after about a week and a half later, I was able to shed the 5 pounds by going right back to my regular healthy eating and exercise routines here in Denver.  My point is this: your body reacts to every change you make.  One change for a short time will do exactly that, create a short change.  Lifetime health depends on making that choice for your life.  If you have a hiccup like I did, it’s totally cool, just get back to your regular healthy lifestyle and you’ll get redirected back on track.  Don’t give up, ya’ll!

Also, I wanted to throw this in here that I am now weighing less than the weight that I have lied about on my driver’s license since I was 16 (I “weighed” 180 for the past 19 years).  I weighed in yesterday at 178.2 lbs!  This was one of my big goals, aside from my main goal of getting down to 150 lbs.  Clothes that I bought in September are now too loose.  I feel comfortable wearing a tank top and yoga capris at the gym!  Probably the biggest accomplishment here is that I am no longer considered “obese” according to my BMI.  Yeah, I agree the BMI scale is pretty arbitrary, but to not have that label slapped on me anymore feels pretty good.  It’s just a nice mile-marker.  My parents are coming into town on Wednesday and the last time they saw me, I was at about 205 lbs.  I can’t wait for them to see my progress!  Honestly, nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.  I have more confidence, more athletic stamina, visible muscle definition, and I just feel so much better than I have ever felt.  I feel ready to live that long and happy life with my family.

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