Why diets dont work

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People who come to Lifexcel have tried every diet known to man. Many have enjoyed success and lost weight. Diets work! Diets are designed to put your body in a calorie deficit. When you burn more calories than you consume, the number on the scale decreases. 3500 calories equals one pound. So if you can cut back 500 calories per day for 7 days you should have lost approximately one pound. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

What we know about diets is that for the vast majority of people they do not work for sustained weight loss. Most of us can cut out fried chicken, cheese and chocolate for a season but not for a lifetime! Any meal plan that has a starting point and an end point should raise a red flag. Why?

Dieting teaches you to ignore physical hunger and eat according to a schedule. At Lifexcel our end goal with every client is to have them eat when physically hungry and stop when their body cues signal that they have had enough to eat. If we all ate according to physical cues we would not have to live on rice cakes and steamed broccoli.

Dieting slows your metabolism. Each diet teaches the body to adapt to the next self-imposed famine. Metabolism slows as the body efficiently uses each calorie like it’s the last.

Dieting promotes binge eating. 49% of all dieters go on a binge within 24 hours of quitting a diet. I just had a friend that completed a 21 day challenge and she lost 7 lbs. On day 19 she was already planning her trip to her favorite restaurant for a major helping of her favorite pasta dish.

Dieting promotes social withdrawal. How many times have you not gone to a party or out with friends because you knew you could not be tempted by the food while you were “on a diet?”

Repeated dieting leads to eating disorders such as compulsive overeating, anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Dieting leads to obsessive, unhealthy thoughts about food.

Dieting makes you feel like a failure every time you go over a calorie level or eat a forbidden food. It promotes the thought that you just need more willpower to be successful. Losing weight is usually not about being weak and not having willpower.

It’s no wonder that current statistics show 2/3 of all dieters gain back at least all the weight they lost.

For many, successful weight loss starts with the acceptance that you cannot eat what you want to eat and exercise when you want to exercise and be comfortable in the body that such behavior produces. Stop fighting that. Stop trying the next big diet. Stop spending thousands on injections and pills and detox juicers. Sit with that fact, be sad and then accept it. People have all kinds of issues in life. This is just one of yours. We all know that person who never exercises and eats whatever they want yet they are normal weight. It’s not you. It will never be you. And that’s OK. In the end, life will not feel less lived because you did not get to eat ice cream every night while watching TV.

Successful, sustained weight loss means making lifestyle changes. You must become the person who doesn’t eat fried foods, who rarely gets second helpings, who loves her unsweetened iced tea. You must become a person that is active – yoga, walking, dancing, or hiking. Diets don’t work but my suspicion is that if you are reading this you I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.