Monday, August 26, 2013

Are Your Diets Failing You? Or, Are YOU Failing Your Diets?

Have you tried to lose weight, but have failed?

Again and again and again?

You're not alone.  95% of Americans state that they have tried to lose weight at one time or another.  And, ironically, 95% have gained the weight back again. And yet, those 95% will try again.  And again.  And again.

Diets don't work.

Before, you stop reading, let me  try to explain the psychology behind why you can't lose weight this way.

The make up of a diet:

  1. Diets are temporary. Exceptions might be a "diabetic" diet or a "paleo" diet, which could be considered lifestyle diets.  (See point #2, however).
  2. Diets are restricted eating in one manner or another.  They are calorie restricted, fat restricted, carbohydrate restricted, even exercise restricted.  Most diets that are restricted in one way or another are typically not balanced with regard to nutrients, energy balanced, and, are therefore, unsustainable as lifetime diets.  An exception would be the diabetic diet, in which case, one typically does not have a choice, but must adhere to strict food choices, or suffer adverse side effects with regard to health.
  3. Diets are a quick fix - i.e. you lose weight in the short term, but, since you don't stick with a diet in the long term, you gain the weight back again.
  4. Diets affect your emotions negatively, making you angry, frustrated, and putting you in a negative frame of mind.  That's the negative reinforcement.  How many times have you said to yourself, "Only 2 more weeks of this diet?" Or, "I only have 5 more pounds to lose and I'm off this stupid diet?"
  5. Being off a diet affects your emotions positively.  When you are "off the diet", you become happy, carefree, toss good reasoning to the wind.  i.e. you rebound in a pretty big way.  Ever have that dessert and say, "I'm off my diet?" and feel good about it?  That's the positive reinforcement you receive when you're "off" the diet!
  6. Physical exercise is secondary to the nutritional part of the diet:  YEAH!  Halleluea!  Really, what you are looking for is to stay lazy and reap the benefits of losing weight.

Your goal is simple:  to lose weight.

You do not want to change your lifestyle.  You WANT to continue to eat pizza on Friday nights, enjoy your couple of glasses of wine a few times a week, eat fast food, enjoy french fries and soft drinks, enjoy eating out and fast food and so forth.  You enjoy eating socially: at birthday parties, holidays and other social occasions. 

You have to be ready to commit to a change.

So, what are you doing by dieting? IF (and that's a big IF), you can stick with a diet, you will lose weight.  But, when you go off the diet (because you will), you WILL gain the weight back again.  It's inevitable.  You WILL gain the weight back again.  Why?  Because you won't change your lifestyle.  You haven't changed your old habits, which might include poor nutritional habits and lack of exercise.

Sometimes, you need to hear the message a few times before it sinks in and you are ready - really ready - to change once and for all.  When you are ready, know what is going to be required of YOU:

  • Change is a slow process.
  • Slip ups are a part of the process - not a reason to fail or quit forever.
  • Flexibility is important.
  • YOU are finally in control of your choices (i.e. the diet doesn't control you).
  • You are responsible for your choices.
  • It is a time of experimentation, what works, what doesn't work, what you enjoy, what you don't enjoy.
  • Physical activity will become part of your DAILY life and you will figure out, potentially with some help, support and guidance, what will work for you.
  • You can change your taste buds, what you need, versus what you want.
Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help.  It's not an easy process, and you may need a coach to talk you through the process.  The internet is full of qualified resources such as  lifestyle coaches, personal trainers and registered dietitians.  365fitt is available to help you with several solutions including an 8 Week Change Your Lifestyle Program, Phone and Email Coaching.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.

Live 365fitt - and wishing you good luck!


365fitt is about training for the event called LIFE, focusing on physical, nutritional and emotional wellness through lifestyle adaptations.  Kathy is available for personal training and wellness consultations and corporate wellness.  365fitt invites you to participate in a Healthy Active Living trip to incredible destinations.  Please visit 365fitt for more information.  Live 365fitt!


  1. Great summary of THE problem--it's the PROCESS of lifestyle change that must be addressed! BTW have you seen this article?

  2. Thanks Jason. I'll look at the link :)

  3. New Diet Taps into Revolutionary Idea to Help Dieters Lose 15 Pounds within Only 21 Days!