As we proceed into the spring season of another New Year, I reflect on upon two of the top “New Year’s resolutions” in our society today - weight loss and healthy eating (Statistic Brain). Yes, good intentions are set; people obligate themselves to an intense “diet” plan and promise to workout diligently. After about two weeks, they hop on the scale frustrated to see that their expected results much less than anticipated. When this occurs, most people get fed up and GIVE UP! Hence, one of the many reasons most “diets” fail. Here’s why.
Lack of Truthful Education
Many times “diets” fail due to a lack of truthful education. I’ve had people tell me they put on two pounds over the weekend… “It must have been the extra cheesecake I ate”. Physically, it is very hard for our bodies to gain two pounds of fat in two days. One would have to consume an additional 7,000 calories over and beyond normal, daily intake to gain that much weight. It is, however, very easy to consume an extra 100-150 calories per day (a serving of chips, a couple of cookies or extra slices of bread) and put on an extra ten pounds over the course of a few weeks. If you truly want to lose weight and shed body fat, its important to be mindful of what you eat on a daily basis, and realize additional calories add up over time. When this occurs, you’re back to square one. Starting another “diet”.
“Diets” can also lead to emotional eating. If you restrict yourself too much, emotions of frustration, depression, feeling angry, bored and deprived set in. All these emotions are likely to drive you to the kitchen pantry for a handful of something to curb your emotions and feelings of depravation. The immediate satisfaction of this “trigger food’ sparks a craving to eat more, and more and more. Once this pattern has been established, it’s very hard to break. This is why most nutrition experts recommend eating several times a day (small feedings every three to four hours) while choosing foods from all the major food groups (protein, complex carbohydrates, good fats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables). When you do this, your body will maintain a sense of fullness and your metabolism will stay elevated throughout the day.
“More people die in the U.S. from too much food than too little” quotes John Kenneth Galbraith in “The Affluent Society”. Many individuals who “diet” often skip meals in order to enjoy indulging on excess food consumption later in the day. If you are one of those people who absolutely cannot resist food temptations no matter what, the best advice is out of sight, out of mind. If you know you can eat a whole box of cookies once you get started, don’t buy them. If you can eat a whole bag of chips during a Monday night football game, don’t buy chips. Try opting for something with less calories and fat. For example, air popped popcorn. Another way to cut back on over eating is portion control. Make a conscious effort to eliminate going back for second helpings, attempt to eat slowly and take pleasure with each bite. There is no reason to gorge.
Bottom Line: Too much or too little of anything is not good for you! If you are considering going on another “diet”, choose a plan you can live with for a lifetime. Think of fueling your body with nutrient rich foods, rather than consuming imitation products full of chemicals and artificial additives. I personally believe it’s important to pay attention to calorie intake, but highly disagree with extensive calorie restriction and depravation “diets” that fail in the long run.
If you are one of the many who are fed up with diet and exercise programs that don’t work, please feel free to contact me for additional tips and strategies that will get you the results you deserve.