Stop trying to figure out which fad diet you should be eating and focus on what you are doing before, during, and after your meals instead.
100% of the time, when I hear people talking about a specific diet, I know they won’t be successful in reaching their weight goals in the long run. I’ve been in this industry too long to know that a specific diet won't "fix" someone's weight.
I know it's not going to work when I see these tell-tale signs:
1) Starting a diet that has a catchy name.
Keto. Paleo. They sound cool. They have stories that appear to be based in science or history, so they must be good, right? Not necessarily. If a diet has a name, it's probably not going to work for you. Maybe it works for some people for certain reasons, but everyone is different with unique needs, tastes, and preferences. It could be the exact opposite of what your body needs. How do you know what your body needs? Focus on how food affects your body.
For example, let's say you eat raisin bran and a banana for breakfast but find yourself hungry an hour later. So you eat a candy bar and then beat yourself up for not having enough self-control to make it to lunch. This makes you wonder if you should give up carbs and "go Keto."
Don't be so quick to jump to a drastic conclusion. Switching your eating habits entirely is a big deal. You don't even know if it will work for you, and, even worse, it could cause more harm than good. You're likely to see better success by simply doing something a little different. Instead of giving up carbs, test a different kind of carbs for breakfast and see how it makes you feel.
Try steel cut oatmeal with nuts and fruit. Does that sustain you until lunchtime? Do you like it? Do you have time to make it? All of these factors matter.
Your ideal way of eating will likely be a combination of all the different 'named' diets you've heard of. But first you have to start asking the right questions and then DO something different to see how your body reacts. In the end, you will discover the perfect way of eating for you.
2) Choosing a diet because someone you know got quick results.
We've all heard of someone's brother's uncle who lost 60 pounds in 3 months on XYZ diet, right? It sounds amazing and exciting...and even tempting to try it for yourself. Yes, the claims may be true. This friend of a friend may have been able to trick their body into short term submission and lose weight fast, but I PROMISE YOU that it almost always comes back...plus more. After that, the damage has already been done.
The body is super smart. You may be able to trick it once, but it catches on quickly.
Intense diets and rapid weight loss send out an SOS signal to the brain and trigger your metabolism to throw on the emergency break. What's worse is that the brain is now on high alert looking out for any signs of another 'famine' showing up again.
It learned its lesson and will be ready to fight back even harder next time. It will resist weight loss and become uber efficient at putting on extra weight - which is the opposite of what you want. So, then your dieting and weight loss tactics have to get even more extreme and then your body resists harder. It's a vicious cycle that doesn't end well.
Plus look at the timeline. When did the friend of a friend lose the weight? If it was within the last year, those pounds will likely make a come-back in the coming months. Yo-yo dieting is clear to see in your own life because you know your history. But when you look at someone else's life, it's easy to get caught up in their quick success without seeing the whole picture. Be cautious. If it's a fad diet, wait and watch. I'll bet my favorite water bottle that their metabolism just took another hit and slowed down again.
Instead, take a closer look at the people who consistently stay at a healthy weight. What they eat is important, but what they DO is just as important. If you look beyond what's on their plate, most of them have other habits surrounding their meals to help them be successful. They pre-load their meals with water, eat slowly and undistracted by TV or phones, and then clean up the dishes, brush their teeth, and go for a walk after dinner. See how none of those things has anything to do with their diet, but rather with their meal routine?
3) Going ‘ON’ or ‘OFF’ a diet.
Anyone trying to lose weight by dieting will eventually say these words, "No, I can't eat that because I'm on the XYZ diet." Or, "I fell off my diet over the weekend, but I'm going back on it Monday."
If you can distinguish between being on or off your diet, then you're destined for disappointment.
Before making any changes ask yourself if the rules of the diet sound like something you could do forever. I'm going to guess that the answer's 'no' for most people.
In the world of finance, one of the worst ways to prepare for retirement is to save large amounts of money for a few months and then stop saving altogether because you didn't create a sustainable plan where you could be consistent. It's the same with the food deposits you make in your body. They need to be small changes that you can stick with. I've said this before, but it's worth saying again, "slow is smooth and smooth is fast."
If you find yourself making these mistakes and you want help losing weight the right way, you may be a fit for my 12-week group intensive called the Wellth Academy.
We work together to create your own personal meal habits that work with your body to drive weight loss without dieting. You also learn how to do the same thing for your other 3 key routines - morning, work, and evenings.
I'm guessing that most of what you know about diet, exercise, and weight loss is wrong. This is your chance to learn what really works - straight from mind of an exercise physiologist in the field for 20+ years.
This program teaches you the smartest, simplest, most sustainable way to maintain a healthy weight without dieting or going to the gym.
It's the best fit for financial pros over 40, who are carrying at least 40 extra pounds, and who have a waist circumference of at least 40 inches (at the belly button level).
Just send me an email if you're interested, and I'll ask you a few questions. If I think I can help you, I'll invite you to join our next group.