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It's Not A Diet. It's A Lifestyle.

It's Not A Diet. It's A Lifestyle.
It's not a diet. It's a lifestyle
Weight loss and weight management are two trendy topics in the country today. More and more people are joining weight management programs. Whether it's for aesthetic purposes or health reasons, people take weight management more seriously than ever before. While some people may result in a workout program, others try out dietary changes.
When was the last time you went on a dietary change? Your answer is probably recently. While many articles or books may advocate for people to try dieting to lose weight, many misconceptions surround this approach.
Studies have shown that approximately 45 million Americans go on healthy dieting each year. Dieting can produce impressive results at first, but this change largely disappears after a year. Only a small percentage of people who go on healthy dieting are able to successfully keep the weight off after dieting. The other percentage resort back to their regular eating habits and regain the lost weight. This statistic is alarming and goes on to prove that dieting is not an ideal approach to losing weight.
Your body needs healthy food in order to run properly and healthy. The results of dieting are almost immediately but not long-lasting. As the body loses weight, the metabolism rate slows down and makes it harder to continue dieting. It is important that you understand what works best for you without feeling deprived and reverting to prior unhealthy eating habits.

Why Diets Don’t Work

Diets simply focus on losing weight, which is not sustainable and goes against the intuitions that the body has developed through evolution. The body reacts to hunger by producing hormones that are designed to ensure you eat and improve your taste. While you can temporarily resist these signals, it is almost impossible to do it in the long run.

Reasons Why Diets Don’t Work

1. A one size fits all approach
People have different backgrounds, body chemistry and overall health goal. The results of dieting vary from person to person. Therefore, dieting may work for some people but not for others. It is essential that you customize your eating plan to your own goals and needs.
2. Losing Weight Through Dieting Is Temporary
Losing weight through dieting is not permanent, and there is a huge possibility of weight gain. Although you may lose weight at first, the results do not last, especially after quitting dieting. Dieting can cause weight gain when done repeatedly, which may lead to obesity.
3. It Ruins Your Relationship with Food
Anyone who has tried dieting has experienced this. Restrictive diets deny you the pleasure of eating delicious food. You struggle to understand what it means to approach food in a natural, intuitive way. Dieting can make you obsessed with counting calories instead of eating proper nutrients. It can take away the satisfaction your body and mind crave from eating proper food.
4. Dieting may Lead to Unhealthy Eating Habits
Losing weight through dieting leads to a drop in the hormones that help you feel full. It also amplifies the hormones that make you feel hungry. The body reacts to famine by helping you gain weight. Dieting slows down your metabolism, causing any calories you eat to be used more efficiently. This makes it easier to gain weight than it is harder to lose it. Weight is gained as fat, and this is counterproductive in the weight loss process.
5. A focus on weight loss vs. health
The main reason most people start dieting programs is to lose weight and look thin. People want a perfect body type to look like models or movie actresses. The truth is you can be thin and still be unhealthy. You may not have an ideal BMI, depending on your body type and genetics. The body is deprived of essential nutrients when you focus only on losing weight.
The society pressures women to have a certain type of body in order to be beautiful. For this reason, some women have undergone immense pain and suffering to meet this false standard. So, dieting has become more about beauty than wellness and good health. The beauty industry has instilled insecurities and profited handsomely by selling products that are meant to fail.
Most people do not address why they are doing it in the first place. Dieting only focuses on the end results of losing weight. It is vital that you know why you want to lose weight and your overall health goals. Other factors that you should consider include your self-image and how it's shaping your eating goals, how you became overweight, and any history of trauma around eating.
6. Dieting leads to emotional instability
Dieting interferes with certain hormones in the body, which leads to disruptions in others. The human body is like a small eco-system where one action leads to counter-reactions. A low-calorie diet can raise cortisol levels in your body, which is the hormone related to stress. This may result in eating more as your brain sets up a reward system. This can also bring about eating disorders like binge eating disorder.

So, What Actually Works?

Now that we have established that dieting is a quick-fix approach that will make you happy for a short while before you become overweight again, what should you do? There are ways that we can develop a healthy body without compulsive exercising and restrictive dieting. Nutritionists suggest lifestyle changes as a more efficient and healthy approach to weight management. Lifestyle changes aim to keep up similar habits for a prolonged period, while dieting is a systematic temporary change.
Lifestyle changes can include but not limited to moderating healthy food intake, managing stress without food, increasing physical activity, workout sessions, and getting for depression and any other illness. It is important that you do what works best and matches your personality. Here are a few ways in which you can start making lifestyle changes.
1. Clarify what your goals are and why
There are plenty of reasons why one may choose to lose weight. You may want to improve your self-image or reduce the risk of developing prediabetes due to increased fat or even just wanting to more active to keep up with your kids. It is important that you set realistic fitness goals on what you want to achieve. This will ensure that you don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself or try quick fixes. This will also help you to stick to a long-term healthy lifestyle.
2. Make long-term choices
Dieting advocates restricting what you eat for a short period. You may want to eat clean, but it can become tiresome to keep up with and leads to more problems. Focusing on achieving optimal health for the long-term has a lot of benefits and helps to know what is sustainable for you.
Lifestyle changes set you free from restrictive dieting practices. It gives you a chance to learn what works for you and become more intuitive of your cravings and needs. They are the foundation for being happy and achieving your health goals.
Unlike dieting, lifestyle changes are not drastic but progressive. This means you can deal with occasional setbacks and forget the fear of failure. This gives you the freedom to eat clean and trying out different kinds of meals without the guilt of ruining your diet. This occasional indulgence is still part of your long term health plan.
3. Change Your Mindset
You should move your focus from looking good to actually feeling good about yourself. Although dieting may have results that make you look good in that Instagram post, it doesn't feel good restricting yourself. We both know you want to eat that bacon or grilled cheese sandwich, but you are afraid since you are dieting. Lifestyle changes help to stay healthy without feeling bad about it. The brains seek the reward of feeling good.
It is equally important that you change the way you view exercise. There is a huge difference between doing what you want and what you have to. Doing what you want replaces shame and anxiety with a new relationship of happiness, making exercise part of your life. Exercise does not necessarily mean you burn calories and lose weight, but it can be something you enjoy doing. Doing this means that losing weight comes as an outcome rather than a goal, and the results are long-lasting.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness can help you better choices in stressful times. This helps to avoid using food as an escape, which leads to bad eating habits. Enjoy your life and making choices that support both your emotional and physical well-being. Set aside time for mediation and practice being present in the moment. This will ensure that you live a rich, healthy and meaningful life.
5. Reflect
Over time you can adjust and recalibrate what isn't working for you. Changes in life circumstances, health or aging, can affect the shape of your overall health goals. You may need to do away with certain foods at some point or include others to meet your goals.
If you are not sure what changes you should make or what is good for you, contact us for guidance. We believe that understanding the connection between your mind and body is the key to attaining your fitness goals.