Most of us have been on a diet at some point in our lives, hoping to lose the extra weight, so we can feel better about ourselves and like what we see in the mirror.
It’s so tempting to want a quick fix with weight loss because let’s face it, diets are NOT fun! Who would actually WANT to deprive themselves of everything they love?
Fads are everywhere, from magic diet pills to juice detox diets to cutting out whole food groups. People are desperate for that quick fix that will make them feel better quickly.
But are these quick-fix, often-extreme diets effective, and more importantly, what are they doing to our health?
One thing that most nutrition experts agree on, is that the biggest problem with fad diets is that they’re not sustainable. You may be able to survive on way less calories than your body really needs, but the motivation level with all-or-nothing dieting hardly ever lasts for long. And rightfully so.
Also, fad diets can be dangerous. A common result of dieting is slowing down your metabolism because of not eating enough.
And then what happens after you lose your goal weight? Are you going to stay on that fad diet? Of course not! So, guess what happens? That’s right, the weight will creep right back on again and then the whole cycle repeats itself over and over again.
Statistics show that over 90% of people who lose weight gain the weight back again within 5 years, and 95% of those people gain back EVEN MORE.
Also, every time you diet you risk damaging your metabolism, making it even harder to lose weight the next time.
I remember starving myself as a teenager wanting to be as skinny as possible and I ended up looking and feeling pretty unhealthy. My body wasn’t getting the nutrients it needed to run well and I sure felt it!
Your body needs the proper balance of nutrients to function and it needs a steady supply of fuel to run well, and without it, it’ll do whatever it needs to survive.
So in the case of under-nourishing your body, your body is smart and it will hold on to whatever you do eat to protect you, so even when you do exercise or exert energy, your body won’t release the weight that it normally would if you were eating more.
So bottom line, you don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right.
Another negative effect of dieting is the increase in anxiety or stress over your food choices. This often comes with all-or-nothing mentality.
Thinking that you’re either on the wagon or off the wagon. The truth is, life happens and you’re not always going to eat perfectly. Christmas parties and family dinners happen, and you’ll choose to indulge a little more on certain occasions. That’s life, and it’s ok.
I personally live by the 90/10 rule, where 90% of the time I’m intentional about eating whole, live foods as close to nature as possible and making sure I eat balanced meals, and I don’t get stressed out about the other 10% of the time or if I’m in a situation where my choices are limited.
A better way, that I’ve seen work time and time again (and which is what I teach!) is to practice patience and putting your effort toward making a lifestyle change, where you develop healthy, sustainable eating habits that are life-long and enjoy life without restrictions or starving yourself.
If you want my help ending the destructive cycle of dieting and discovering how to make a lifestyle change that involves eating in a way that works for everyday life, (without giving up everything you love!), send me an email HERE.
Share this with anyone else who would like to ditch the diets and discover a sustainable way of eating that leads to a slimmer (and healthier!) body.
May Anne xo
May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.