If you’re someone who has been on diet after diet or tried numerous times to get in shape then the next couple of posts are for you. We’re going to explore why diets don’t work and how to avoid the most common pitfalls.
REASON 1 why diets don’t work: Attempting to change EVERYTHING at once
This is probably the most common reason why diets don’t work – I see it time after time.
It normally comes after a sudden realisation that you don’t fit into your favourite outfit or you see an unflattering picture of yourself and you think ‘I’ve got to change. NOW!’
Immediately you chuck all the unhealthy food out the house (or eat it in a massive binge just to get rid of it), you get on Amazon and buy new exercise equipment/ clothes…and in normal times you sign up to the local gym.
This initial bit of action makes you feel good and maybe you manage a few days or even weeks of rising at the crack of dawn to exercise and just drinking juice/ cutting out all carbs/ etc and you tell everyone how amazing you feel. ‘Why on earth didn’t I do this sooner?’ you think. ‘It’s easy, it’s brilliant’…and then the wheels come off…
The problem with drastic change is that it’s very hard to sustain. You’ll very quickly get fed up, hungry or bored. You might see quick results (rarely due to actual fat loss though) but unless you can keep it up forever more, these results will be short lived.
HOW TO AVOID IT:
Quite simply, don’t change everything at once!
However it tends to be a bit more complicated than that because you need to change your mindset:
There is no such thing as a ‘quick fix’ when it comes to health and fitness.
This sums up exactly why diets don’t work.
Frustrating, I know. But once you accept and get your head around it, it’s a game changer. Slow and steady is the way forwards…it’s a marathon, not a sprint, etc, etc.
If you try to change too much at once and give up, you’ll feel like you’ve failed and you’ll never be able to manage it. But actually you CAN make changes and stick to them, you just have to do one at a time.
Start small and focus on one thing that will help you take a step in the right direction. If weight loss is your aim, think about one thing that’s holding you back.
For me, it’s eating James’s left overs. I seem to be incapable of throwing food away so instead I eat it. Even when I’m not hungry. I’m like a human dustbin. Since Christmas I’ve tried really hard to get out this habit and it’s working. Slowly but it IS working.
What’s ONE thing you could change today? No biscuits in afternoon maybe? 1 glass of wine instead of 2 in the evening? Think SMALL. If you love chocolate and you aim to give it up completely, I can guarantee you will have a moment of weakness and inhale a family sized bar. Instead, aim to cut down – maybe one (normal sized) bar on a Friday or 2 squares of dark choc every other day. What’s realistic for you?
Once you see you can stick to one change, you’ll feel good and it’ll give you the confidence you need to make more changes. Think little by little.
If you’re not sure where to start, try seeing if you can do the mini workout challenge I’m going to set each day. They tend to be around 3 minutes long which is nothing in the grand scheme of things- everyone can find 3 minutes somewhere. But doing it will make you feel good, have a boost in energy levels and make you want to do more – it has a knock on effect. Try it.
One healthy choice will lead to another and another.
I’ll be back later this week with why diets don’t work, reason 2!
I’m currently running a FREE ‘Feel Fab in Feb’ Challenge. It involves getting daily motivational emails and one mini workout challenge each day to try. All about feeling positive and getting through February and Lockdown together. It’s not too late to join in, just click on the button below and get signed up 🙂