Every couple of months the 'oldies' in my family meet up on a Sunday spend the afternoon together.
I happened to be there one Sunday and decided to stay and have lunch with them.
After a few comments about cooking for one and weight loss, suddenly one member of my family proudly announced to the rest of the table that she had been a member of weight watchers since 1997.
That's over 20 years.
Now I’m not quite sure what she was trying to achieve from this outburst but it got me thinking.
As much as I enjoy working with all of my clients, if someone worked with me for 2 years I would seriously question my knowledge and wonder if I was in the right job.
Let alone 20!
But unfortunately, this is weight watchers (and many others) business model.
They get you excited when you sign up, they introduce you to all these rules that make no sense in the real world and at first you’ll probably lose a bit of weight.
But after a while, the rules become confusing and too much effort and you don’t feel as motivated as you did to start with.
So you ‘fall off the waggon’, throw in the towel and blame yourself for not having enough willpower.
You’ll start to go back to your old way of eating and put all the weight back on, if not more; because along the way you’ve damaged your metabolism.
And then you feel fed up again.
Soon enough you’ll make a promise to yourself that you’ll really try this time.
You get motivated and excited again,
And the whole process starts again.
That, my friend, is the diet cycle.
It even brings back memories for me!
So, let’s discuss the 5 reason why diets don’t work and what to do instead so you never get caught up in a diet cycle again.
1) A one size fits all approach doesn’t suit.
I'm guessing you've never come across anyone who looks identical to you.
Just like it's unlikely you'll come across anyone who is made up, or functions like you do.
This is just one factor as to why a one size fits all diet doesn't work.
Most diets don't even consider that:
Different clients have different budgets
Different clients have different ways of eating and cooking
Some clients have certain dietary requirements
Clients are on different schedules, meaning some have more time and some have less.
Different body types need different amounts/types of foods
Stress, lifestyle, produce and a clients health all have factors too.
I'm a huge fan of group coaching.
Having a community of likeminded people achieving the same goal is incredibly encouraging and inspiring and we've always had amazing results on our group coaching programs like the 30 Day Challenge.
However, our programs have been carefully put together so that you can adapt each change into your lifestyle.
2) There are too many rules.
Diets provide you with a list of rules: a meal plan, a list of foods to eat and others to avoid, a points system, etc. Rules are black and white which means you are either "on" or "off" your diet, leaving you to give it everything or nothing at all.
Not only is this an unhealthy mentality, it's also an unhealthy cycle for your body to go through.
Food should be seen as a tool that nourishes you, gives you energy and makes you feel great. It's not something that you're either on or off.
Plus: as soon as you start adding more rules to your life not only does it feel like a chore, it also takes the enjoyment out of eating.
3) You have to fit into your diet
Whatever your schedule looks like, it's important your transformation revolves around your lifestyle. Not the other way around.
As I mentioned earlier, each of our clients lead very different lives;
Some have children, some don't, some are grandparents.
Some travel far to work, some work from home.
Some have more time on their hands, others don't.
That's why we build on the lifestyle they already have to make it a little bit better each day.
4) Diets ruin your relationship with food.
There is no one 'bad food'.
Nope, not even chocolate and crisps are a bad foods.
However, if you were to eat the two of them all day every day, we'd say you'd be pretty unhealthy and you'd feel dreadful too.
But mixed in with a balanced diet, there is no reason not to have foods like this in your diet.
As long as the foundation is there too.
Diets encourage you to cut out certain foods from your diet that you actually really enjoy ruining your relationship with food but, mainly they are all fighting against each other!
Keto's wants you to cut out carbs, but vegans want you to cut out meat and other animal products and your PT's telling you to eat more protein, it's no surprise it becomes overly confusing as what to eat and people start to fear food.
5) Dieting ruins your metabolism
** I have been forever given conflicting information about this point, it wasn't until I did my own studies back in 2017 that I found out this is in actual fact true **
Our bodies need fuel to keep us alive, if your body doesn't get enough fuel it will start to slow down the secondary functions and put all it's energy into keeping you alive.
This raises stress levels in the body which changes the way your body digests and absorbs food. It also changes the way your body uses it for energy; your metabolism.
Restricting your diet for too long can lead to insulin resistance, thyroid issues and even reproduction issues.
To summaries, dieting doesn't work and can actually lead to health issues down the line, so what can you do instead?
My first advice to anyone who approaches me for help is to listen.
Your body has all the tools it needs to tell you what it needs, when it needs it and how much it needs, start to listen to it.
As someone who has given up serial dieting, I understand how hard it is to get rid of the diet mentality and listen to your bodies needs, if you'd like support doing this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, visit my contact page or ask in the chat box.