"This diet really worked!, but I couldn’t stick with it and I gained all the weight back". If a diet plan cannot be maintained then it cannot work. First, stop blaming yourself; "I have no self-control...I got too busy...my family eats differently". Instead, look for a nutrition plan that has balance and longevity. Ask yourself "is this a life plan for nutrition?" Let’s look at the true outcome of diets.
WEIGHT GAIN. Statistics reinforce over and over again that dieting leads to weight gain. Current statistics show that 80% of dieters regain the lost weight. Diets are frustrating, unpleasant and may often be damaging to one’s heath. Repetitive weight loss and gain generally leads to higher weights overall and are linked to disease of the gall bladder & gall bladder removal.
LOSS OF MUSCLE MASS. Rapid weight loss can be up to 75% muscle loss. Muscle is metabolically more active, which keeps your metabolism burning. Loss of muscle means a slower metabolism...throughout the day.
DEHYDRATION. Fad diets that promise quick weight loss are usually not actual weight, it is water weight. Getting dehydrated puts you at risk for fainting, muscle cramps, nausea and electrolyte imbalance. Water weight loss can also rebound and appear to be weight gain, very discouraging and most likely false.
LOSS OF BODY TRUST. “I don’t know what to eat”. “I don’t know how much”. Dieting requires ignoring hunger cues, eventually this leads to a decrease in trusting hunger and even fullness cues. Eating doesn’t have to be complicated, a little common sense, common nutrition knowledge and balance goes a long way. Be aware of your eating patterns, if you eat past full, ask why, what preceded overeating, most likely it was a skipped meal/snack or some form of deprivation.
GUILT/SHAME. Feeling like a failure, not having enough will power, these are some of the messages we receive when we cannot maintain a style of eating assigned by the diet. The body not only has energy needs, eating is also pleasurable, diets can trigger shame and guilt for eating something for pleasure.
IRRITABILITY. Do you notice increasing irritability when you don’t eat? Think of an infant and their basic needs. A baby cries when it’s hungry, tired or needs a diaper change. We can use the acronym HALT, when we feel irritable; HALT and think “am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired”. Don’t kid yourself into thinking just because you want to lose weight means you don’t NEED to eat. We all deserve to be nourished.
MALNUTRITION. Any person can become malnourished regardless of weight change. Eliminating fats, proteins or carbohydrates will lead to malnutrition as well as under-eating. Every person’s body requires specific nutrients found in a variety of foods. An apple cannot supply amino acids (in proteins). Malnutrition is not necessarily evident in appearance and certainly not in weight.
ISOLATION. Avoiding meals with others out of need to eat certain foods or avoid foods not on your diet. Diets that prevent you from eating with others and social eating cannot be maintained without leading to isolation and loneliness.
OBSESSION. Notice how you feel when you are on a diet. How often do you think about food? Do you review recipes often, talk about food more? Plan more to eat less, doesn't sound rational. Studies show that as we diet our food obsession increases.