Chances are that at some point in your life you went on a diet. You may even be on one now. Or, you may be making a New Year’s Resolution to diet in the New Year. Let me stop you there. If you are planning on losing weight in 2010, save your money and time, and instead, resolve NOT to diet. No, I’m not kidding.
I know, I know…you want to lose weight. You want to have the body you had 5, 10, maybe even 20 years ago. Your skinny jeans are folded neatly under piles of clothes, just waiting for you to squeeze into them. And one day, you know you will. Sound familiar? Many of us at some point have gone through this. But I’m going to tell you a secret…dieting doesn’t work. Some of you may be thinking: “But my friend lost 20 pounds on the Atkins diet!” or “I have heard fantastic things about Nutrasystem.” Sure, these diets work in the short term, but after a dieter stops dieting, they most likely put back on some, if not all of the weight.
In 2010, I’d like you to resolve not to diet. And, I want you to remember the following things about diets, why they don’t work and what are better solutions for the New Year:
- Malnutrition: Contrary to popular belief, most diets are not healthy and may actually border on malnutrition. Many urge us to do extreme things, forgo our favorite foods or cut major food groups in order to lose weight. Healthy eating requires ALL nutrients (carbs, fats and protein) and a minimum number of calories in order to maintain health and proper body function. FOR the New Year: Focus on eating foods that are nutrient rich and that provide you with the balance to keep you feeling satisfied.
- It is Unsustainable: Depriving your body shocks your body into losing weight, but once it gets over that shock, it adapts. How? By slowing down your metabolism, going into unhealthy physical states (such as ketosis) or stopping weight loss. So, even if you have the mental willpower to diet forever, your body doesn’t. FOR the New Year: Change to a mindset of eating healthy as a lifestyle, not as dieting. This will help you to lose excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime…not just for bikini season.
- The Pendulum Factor: When you deprive yourself to an extreme, you end up craving to an extreme. The pendulum swings from “being extremely good” to “being extremely bad” to compensate. You may have heard this called “yo-yo dieting.” FOR the New Year: Implement a philosophy of moderation. Enjoying the foods you love and the treats you crave once in awhile will help you to crave foods less overall.
- Life Happens: Diets often require us to change our eating habits in such a way, that normal life gets in the way. Eating out, going over friends houses for dinner, special occasions all become “problems.” These things, however, are the very things that make life worth living! Further, most of us are busy and may not always have the time to shop, cook and calorie-count the way many diets require. FOR the New Year: Find ways to fit healthy eating into every day life so that you can enjoy life AND be healthy. Discover which nutritious foods you love that make healthy eating delicious! (Discover 40 easy and delicious recipes to eat healthy!)
- Energy Loss and Metabolism: Dramatically reducing your calorie intake can result in reduced energy levels and fatigue. Instead, it is important to understand which foods provide you with quality nutrition. FOR the New Year: Eat small meals often. This strategy can actually stimulate weight loss, keep you satisfied and make you feel energetic.
- Quantitative versus Qualitative: Dieting doesn’t really teach you how to eat for the long term. You may be counting calories while eating foods that actually make you hungrier or cause you to crave more. FOR the New Year: Learn what foods are the most satisfying and most nutritious. The more nutritious the food you eat, the less hungry you will be. You’ll make smarter choices and lose weight without focusing on every calorie you ingest.
- One Dimensional: In order to truly lose weight, you have to eat well AND be active. I’m not saying you have to run a marathon, but as we get older, our metabolisms NATURALLY slow down. The more active you are, the more calories you burn and the higher your metabolism will stay. FOR the New Year: Be active. Even if it means taking stairs instead of the elevator, walking at lunch hour, walking to work instead of taking the train…just move.
Get real in the New Year! Change your life by changing your mentality towards health, nutrition and wellness. Stop dieting, start eating and start seeing the results that you want…for the long term!