Sunday, October 01, 2006

Top 10 reasons diets don't work and what you can do about it.

Recently while researching some weight loss stories I came across this list of the top ten reasons diets don’t work. This list is credited to a Dr. Michael May but I could not find the original source.

While I don’t necessarily agree with all of these reasons I did want to recite them and give some possible ways to overcome each. Perhaps if one of these 10 reasons is a weakness for you; you can find some ways to overcome it here.

  1. Too time consuming. I have always said that preparation goes a long way toward success in your weight loss and healthy eating regimen. If you find that all this preparation is too time consuming for you then try some of the following ideas.
    1. Meal replacement shakes and bars
    2. Frozen diet meals
    3. Nutrisystem home food delivery
    4. Hire a chef or caterer – or perhaps your city has one who prepares healthy meals for pick-up
  2. Boring. I agree with this one but disagree with letting it stop you from experiencing successful weight loss. If you find diets boring then you should try to expand your knowledge of healthy eating. There are so many wonderful, healthy foods on the market. Try to change your mindset that diets have to consist of bland, tasteless food.
    1. Read healthy recipe books and try some new dishes
    2. Try Nutrisystem
  3. Takes the pleasure out of eating. If you are not enjoying eating then you have not found the right diet yet. There are so many diets on the market – you CAN find one that is pleasurable to you. If you enjoy your diet – you will stick to it and you will lose weight.
  4. Too restrictive for real life. Keep expanding your knowledge of healthy foods and you will be able to eat until satisfied and keep your calories and fat under control. Knowledge is power.
  5. Forces a food focus. I am not even sure I know what this means – I am always focused on food. J
    1. Find a diet that satisfies your taste and hunger and you will not always be thinking about food.
    2. Find a diet that encourages portion control and eating often; and you will be satisfied most of the day.
  6. Requires exercise to earn the right to eat. I have never seen a diet that says you have to exercise in order to be able to eat. Exercise adds life to your years, helps with a positive mindset, increases circulation, lowers cholesterol, and makes the body feel good. Exercise is not a bad thing. Enough said.
  7. Equates exercise with punishment for eating. See above. If you think of exercise as punishment then you have not found the right exercise. I would skip a cookout to mountain bike any day. Find what works for you. I would be willing to bet there is at least one type of exercise you enjoy very much.
    1. Hiking
    2. Biking
    3. Swimming
    4. Yard work
    5. Walking
    6. Rollerblading
    7. Soccer
  8. Doesn’t address emotional eating. I agree with this particular one. Most diets don’t address this issue. If you suspect you are an emotional eater then you should seek help and information. I have seen one diet recently that addresses eating for reasons other than hunger – it is called the no-diet diet.
  9. May decrease metabolism. A healthy weight loss diet will encourage eating 5 or six small meals per day and exercising. Both of these lifestyle changes will help to speed your metabolism.
  10. Causes guilt and deprivation. Bill Phillips author of “Body for Life” recommends one day per week where you eat anything you want – guilt free. Not only does this relieve pressure from you but it also creates something to anticipate. Bill Phillips believes that the healthier you get – the less you will enjoy your cheat days. You will find that they leave you bloated, uncomfortable, and sluggish.

The purpose of this article is not to make you think the above reasons are only excuses; it is to encourage you to tackle these reasons with creativity and an open mind. The above reasons are real and have stopped many dieters dead in their tracks. Find what stops you from achieving your ideal healthy weight and find ways to work around it.