If you or someone you know has ever tried a diet or two....or several, you might be familiar with the typical diet cycle:
Begin Diet > Restrict > Deprive > Crave > Give In > Guilt > Begin Diet Again.
This normally looks something like: high motivation to lose weight, cutting out all food you (or your diet plan) labels as "bad", missing out on the foods you enjoy or need, intense cravings for the food you aren't "supposed" to eat, giving up on the diet because it is too hard to maintain, binge-eating the food you gave up, feeling guilty that you ate a lot of "bad" food, and starting the diet all over again.
Diets cause a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting, or weight cycling: the cyclical loss and gain of weight. The diet > overeat cycle is caused by restrictive diets that lead your body to think it needs to conserve energy to protect you from starving and in response, slows your metabolism which ultimately makes it even harder to lose weight. This cycle is the ultimate reason why weight loss programs don't work, explored even further below.
1. Diets are only temporary food plans. Yes, you might lose a few pounds here and there but most people who lose weight by dieting will regain it again (plus more) since diets are not something you can continue forever. They don't teach you anything about healthy eating. Once your diet is over, you will return back to your unhealthy eating patterns that caused you to gain weight in the first place, thus taking you back through the yo-yo dieting.
2. Fad diets cause more harm than good. They might cut entire food groups out which prevents your body from getting the essential vitamins and minerals you need to thrive. Skipping meals and starving yourself will zap your energy, throw off your metabolism and can cause or worsen health issues.
3. Diets damage your relationship with food. They take all the fun out of food, add unreasonable stress to your life, prevent you from learning mindful eating, cause you to feel deprived from your favorite foods, and they destroy your natural hunger cues.
4. Dieting can cause eating disorders. Constantly worrying about your weight, feeling frustrated when your diet doesn't work, obsessing over what you are eating, counting calories and depriving yourself can all lead to eating or exercise disorders.
5. You might fall for "magic potion" schemes. Out of desperation, you might waste your time, health and money on pills, powders, drinks, etc. There is no magic supplement! Healthy eating, exercise and taking care of all aspects of your wellness are the key to effective weight loss.
The first step towards permanent, healthy weight loss is to lose the diet mindset and focus on eating balanced meals and snacks and add more activity to your day. Start with small steps and think about the changes you can make that you can live with for the rest of your life. You can actually enjoy the food you eat, have fun with your favorite activities AND lose weight and keep it off for life.
If you don't know where to begin, join Boost, a 28-day healthy living jump-start. In this educational program, you will receive behavior change information, a sample meal plan, recipes, restaurant and snack guides, a sample workout routine and more!
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I am a food loving, activity seeking health coach who resides in Franklin, TN with my husband and two sweet dogs (Lola & Penny).
I believe everyone should eat balanced and not cut food groups if you don't medically need to. All foods can fit in a healthy diet. Unfortunately, I have to avoid gluten and also limit myself with dairy, so my goal is to provide healthy, gluten-free/dairy-free recipes so EVERYONE can enjoy all foods, even if you do have to cut out certain food groups. My recipes are encouraged for everyone to eat, not just for those with sensitivities/allergies! Most of my recipes can be easily converted by using real dairy and whole-wheat in place of my allergy-free substitutes.
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