Given that the average person is likely to embark on at least 126 fad diets in their lifetime, lasting an average of just 6 days, it would appear that dieting isn’t always the best choice for losing weight and for many, dieting spells disaster from the word go.
Going on a diet usually means food restriction in one form or another which instigates an unhealthy relationship with food. It can lead to a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, embarking on one diet regime after another, desperately trying to find the perfect solution that magically vanishes excess pounds and leaves them slim for life.
Negative word association
Diet is just a word pertaining to what we eat. We all have a diet. There are high fat diets, low carbohydrate diets and high fibre diets. Weight loss diets are just one type. However, many people only have to hear the word 'diet' and they’re sent into a state of panic, depression and fear about what they will have to give up. Visions of hunger, cravings and lettuce leaves spring to mind. And it’s this negative association with dieting which can often make it such a bad choice for losing weight. Embarking on a diet in this frame of mind decreases motivation from the word go and is less likely to succeed in the long run.
No two people share exactly the same food preferences. But when it comes to choosing a suitable diet, unless you see a nutritionist specialising in personalised meal plans, diets are not tailored specifically for individuals. This often means dieters are tempted into following a plan which is totally unsuitable for them. Some people need guidelines and like to follow a diet exactly as specified, while others need the freedom to pick and choose their own food to fit their lifestyle. Following the wrong diet can make the dieting process too difficult to stick to for any length of time.
Fad diets abound, all promising unrealistic weight loss in a short space of time. This type of dieting is bad for losing weight in several ways. They often restrict calories to such an extent that the body clings on to every calorie it gets. It becomes more efficient at using those calories so makes it harder to lose weight. This results in the opposite of what the dieter wants as their metabolism slows down, making it even harder to lose pounds. And restricting or limiting food too much can lead to the dieter developing obsessive cravings, causing them to give up the diet and binge on banned foods.
When starting a new diet, motivation is at its strongest. But it's impossible to keep up this intensity. No one has limitless motivation and inevitably, it starts to diminish. For those who are obese or have large amounts of weight to lose, the idea of going on a diet can seem too arduous. They might imagine years of going without favourite foods instead of focusing on the positive aspects that losing weight can bring. Rather than dieting, as such, it would be far more helpful focusing on adding in more healthy foods and reducing unhealthy, high sugar and highly processed foods instead.
False sense of achievement
Embarking on a new diet often results in substantial weight loss, particularly during the first couple of weeks. However, this can provide a false sense of achievement since the majority of this initial weight loss will be down to water loss and not actual fat. This is great for spurring the dieter on and providing motivation at the beginning, but once the weight loss slows down, or reaches a plateau, dieters become despondent and may lose the will to continue with the diet.
Personalised support from a nutritonist or health coach can provide the missing link in helping you successfully reach your ideal goal weight. The all round health and wellbeing benefits of losing excess weight cannot be underestimated and I would be delighted to help you succeed.
If you'd like personalised support with your weight loss or other midlife health niggles, please contact me at any of the following places:
Email: caroline @ nutritionrefit.com