Guest post contributed by Rebekah
According to research, a huge percentage of dieters will return to their original weight after a year or two of changing their eating habits. While we all want to lose weight and get the body of our dreams, the truth is that reducing the amount you eat or handing the health of your body over to some random dieting fad might not be the right way to go about getting real results.
The truth is that diets simply aren’t concerned with long-term weight loss. They wouldn’t be a multi-million-dollar industry if they were. Generally, most diets focus on helping you to lose weight for a small amount of time, or remove water weight so that you think you’re seeing results. However, if you want to feel real, sustainable change, then diet simply isn’t going to get you there.
Here, we’ll look at just three reasons why your diets aren’t working, and why you should make a lifestyle change instead.
1. Dieting Biologically Reduces Weight Loss
Most people don’t realize this, but our bodies experience dieting as a “stressor“. This means that we suffer during our dieting phase, producing more adrenaline and cortisol. Both hormones push the body to slow down the rate that we’re burning calories so that we can help to preserve long-term survival. Your body sees your diet as a threat to your health, so it holds onto extra fat to make sure that you’re safe for the long-term.
While a lot of diets focus on reducing your caloric intake as much as possible, doing this tells your body that you’re in a state of potential starvation. That means that your metabolism is going to jump into action to hold onto your fat reserves and help to keep you alive for as long as possible.
2. Dieting Doesn’t Contribute to Sustainable Change
While many of us will be able to change our habits for a couple of weeks or months without much stress, dietary changes don’t last a lifetime. Changing the type of food that we eat can never be a long-term solution because it doesn’t touch on the patterns and behaviors that influence our eating habits in the first place. Diets often force us to simply give up on our favorite foods and beverages, and that means that we’ll end up crashing off the wagon when we are overwhelmed by cravings and desires.
If you want to make a sustainable change to your lifestyle, then you can’t simply decide to cut all unhealthy food out of your meal plan. Instead, you need to dive a little deeper into who you are as a person, and why you eat the way you do. Long-lasting change comes from making a difference to your internal and external food choices, based on the psychology of eating.
3. We Hate Dieting
Finally, when you diet, you’re depriving your body of the things that you want. There’s often a big “no” list of foods that you have to avoid if you want to be successful, and that means that you have to have the constant willpower to stick to the rules. The problem with this solution is that it’s no fun. There’s no joy or pleasure in becoming healthier, and that means that your habit changes are harder to stick to.
Additionally, when you create a state of tension around your food, you also develop an environment that cultivates stress in your body. As we mentioned above, this stress reduces your calorie-burning potential, which means that losing weight becomes more difficult.
Building a Positive Relationship with Food
If you want to make a real difference to your health and your eating habits, then you need to start building a more positive relationship with food. Don’t tell yourself what you can and can’t have, simply think about how you can make your life a little better by reducing your intake of unhealthy foods, and improving how many healthy nutrients you get into your system.
For instance, rather than replacing your sodas with boring water, think about how you can boost your mineral and vitamin intake with juicing instead. Simply find the juicer that’s right for you, then experiment with recipes and flavors that will delight your taste buds and even contribute to your weight-loss power.
Dieting doesn’t work, but building a better relationship with food where you enjoy eating healthy and explore the opportunities available to you, can help you to enjoy a more sustainable approach to healthy living.
Bio: Rebekah is a professional writer with plenty of experience exploring different diet and exercise routines in the pursuit for better health. She’s constantly searching for new ways to enhance her knowledge of the world around her.