Why Diets Don't Work

How many times have you told yourself, “My diet starts tomorrow”? Then, you “start” your diet and have a solid week. Week two comes, and you start to justify choices, not a part of your diet. Before you know it, you’re off your diet. And the cycle begins again.

If you have found yourself in this rotation, you are certainly not alone. With all the fad diets and product advertisements seen on every platform, it can be tough to resist the urge to test out that new and improved detox tea. The ad said you are guaranteed to lose weight in 14 days, rid your body of all the toxins and boost your metabolism. So what do you have to lose? Money.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the supplement industry raked in an estimated $25 billion in 2009, a 6% increase from the year before (1). Just think about what could have been done with that kind of money! If you have fallen for a supplement or diet plan, do not fear. You are clearly not alone!

Fad diets do not work for two reasons. One, diets have a beginning and an end. Sure, you may lose weight during the span of your diet. But more times than not, when the program ends, you go back to your routine eating habits, and gain the weight back. Countless clients I work with are fresh off of their recent fad diet program. A common reason they want to work with me is because “I had great success during the program. But as soon as it ended, I gained it all back, and then some”. Counting points or cutting down on an entire food group is not ideal to last long term.

Which brings me to reason number two, diets are not sustainable. Can you really live the rest of your life drinking smoothies, juices and detox teas? That is why building a healthy lifestyle is the best way to manage your weight. A lifestyle is the way you live your life day to day; there is no end!

To begin a healthy lifestyle, not all changes will be made over night. It takes time to execute new habits and have them stick. My favorite saying I tell my clients when they begin to doubt themselves is to take things one day at a time, one goal at a time. Your current eating habits took years to develop and will take time to change. Remember that weight you put on in college? It didn’t happen during one weekend of tailgating; it took months and years to accumulate. The weight may take just as long to come off, just like the habits might take as long to develop.

There is never a good time to start something new, but it is always a good time to take your health into your hands! So, don’t give into that new diet plan all the celebrities are sharing their secrets to. Find the habits that fit into YOUR life, instead of fitting your life into an unrealistic program that will bring right back to square one.

Sources: 1. Truth in Advertising and Marketing: Health Claims. Ftc.org. https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/truth-advertising/health-claims. Accessed April 29, 2017.


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