Why Diets Fail You

Before we get to the weird sweet potato photo…….

Often one of the hardest parts of writing a post for my blog is nailing a title. The idea for the post can come effortlessly and then the only thing remaining is a clever, witty, thought provoking title to draw in you, my 4.5 readers.

And that I can often spend more time pondering than you know….

Therefore, when I have ideas come to me that present me with the title first, I’m thrilled. I then quickly save it into my working folder as an idea to bounce on.

This is one that’s been patiently waiting in that folder. I figured I’d drag it out, dust it off and do something with it 😜

For the love of diets

If you’ve hung around me for awhile, you know I’m kinda “anti diet”. This is not to be confused with “anti weight loss”.

Why anti diet?

They just don’t work.

Oh now wait. I can hear you ready to tell me about Karen at work and how her keto plan has the weight falling off her.

Or maybe it’s someone else working Paleo or any one of the other current trendy things to follow.

There are lots of “vehicles” to get us started on weight loss. The more troubling issue is, which vehicle can get us to our destination and still be usable for us when weight goals have been attained? Which one can we follow for the rest of our life?

Calorie Deficit

I’ll say it again for the kids on the back row. There is no magical, miracle wonder diet that makes you lose weight. There are lots of programs to help you lose your money but you don’t need to spend a bunch of money to lose weight.

It’s simply science.

Expend more calories than you take in through exercise and what you eat, i.e. create a deficit, and you will lose weight.

You could do it with Oreos and milk but I don’t recommend it.

Sustainability

Diets don’t work long term because the large majority just aren’t sustainable. And by that I mean it’s not a plan you can or will do the rest of your life.

I cannot tell you the times I’ve heard someone reference looking forward to a “cheat day”. This means falling off plan to eat the things they have been withholding from themselves. It’s a grasp to feel “normal” and enjoy things that have been on a forbidden list. If you’re on a plan and you spend to much time looking forward to having restricted foods, you may need to rethink it.

For me, that’s not how I wanna live, and really, most people don’t.

It’s why they toss the towel on a plan that withholds enjoyable things.

Deprivation

When people think of diets, no wonder feelings of deprivation come to mind.

Eating less food, not having favorite foods or treats, not getting to have birthday cake, being hungry, eating boring flavorless foods….the list could go on.

No one, not a single one of us, wants to feel deprived which is another reason diets fail.

Lack of balance

Many popular diets totally cut or eliminate food groups. Where there are some people who need to for food allergies or health reasons, the majority of us don’t need to remove healthy and nutritious foods from our daily diets. However, demonizing food groups has become cool in some circles.

Demonizing food isn’t cool.

We love routine

Maybe you have certain things you like to grab for breakfast or you do your coffee in a special way. You have foods you enjoy. It’s all like….comfy…right? None of us want to give up our familiar routines. Diets really upset that apple cart.

Diets offer a quick fix…sorta

Let’s face it. How many times have you started a structured diet and were already longing to get back to normal life? You bite the bullet thinking you can get 6-8 weeks done. You jump into it, get excited over your big “loss” of water weight the first week and prepare for week 2. You’re all on fire and are excited for the weight you’re going to lose.

And then just like that…you’re done. Maybe a week to 10 days into it, you’ll take your few pounds you lost and call it a day. This wasn’t as fun as you thought it would be.

Sadly you’ll gain that weight back with a few more pounds too.

Now about the weird sweet potato pic…

I had gotten in from a sesh of physical therapy and dove into dinner prep. One of my favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes is to cube them, add some onion and a bit of olive oil and roast till they are soft with crispy edges.

Heaven.

Anyway, I had started writing this post earlier in the day and had the ideas bouncing around when once again I was reminded of this simple truth.

Diets will almost always fail.

However if we make our daily nutrition about eating real foods, preferably single ingredients or close to it, we will not only be satisfied but will provide our bodies with optimal nutrition. Eating real food is satisfying. Eating real food allows for special occasions and treats and removes feelings of deprivation.

By the way…. I did write a post called “The Single Ingredient Diet” a few months back be sure to check it out…

When we focus on each day, making healthy food choices, eating in balanced ways and allowing for treats, we don’t need to diet.

Learning to create a small calorie deficit in our day will lead to slow and steady weight loss.

Living this lifestyle is not only balanced, sane, and allows you to build your own routine, it is also long term sustainable which will lead you to lifetime success.

Tell me. Have you had success with a particular diet? Or do you find yourself back where you started when you get off it? Have you figured out now how to make it your lifestyle and not diet?

Saturday Snippets

Happy Saturday lovely people!

So it’s been a red hot minute since I ranted about some snake oil diet and “health” program.

You’ve been forewarned 🤣

If someone offers you pie in the sky promises of ridiculous weight loss in a week ( largely done by starvation) and then tells you ( the victim) you will also have to pay 100’s of your hard earned dollars a month to buy all of their fabulous starvation….um….weight loss products… may I make a suggestion?

Take your 100plus dollars, buy some good running shoes, and run far, far away from it.

You’re welcome 😉

I’ve seen one particular product circulating through and it’s just so unrealistic in what it offers.

I’m sorry, but losing big amounts of weight in 8 days is not only unrealistic, it’s also unhealthy. And the reality is all you’ve done is shed a whole lotta water in those days.

I’ve read enough on it to know you basically starve yourself most days of the “program” in that first week.

I don’t exaggerate.

On top of that you spend a good amount of money to be involved in this particular diet cult.

I know it’s super old school but really, if you want to lose weight, and keep it off you’ve got to manage what goes in your mouth, eat healthy nutritious food the majority of the time ( because chocolate ya know?)and get some good purposeful exercise in most days of the week.

It will be slow and steady ( as it should) you will eat foods you enjoy, without depriving yourself, and the money you save you can use towards that new exercise hobby you fall in love with.

Stay away from the diet schemes that require you to buy their products and promise you “to good to be true” results.

Really the only results you’ll ultimately have will be a lighter bank account.

Saturday Snippets

If there is one thing that often seems to be a stumbling block to people who want to lose weight it’s this….

They think there has to be an “all or nothing” mentality to get it done.

Either they have to exist off of kale and water ( both of which I have nothing against) and live a totally miserable existence constantly checking the scale to see if a pound or two has vanished.

They go back to counting down the days till they can get back to “normal” again because they don’t think there is room in a nutrition plan for having a hamburger or Chocolate cake on occasion.

I feel bad when I see people choosing a complete deprivation plan. Mainly because I know they are setting themselves up for failure.

It’s the same when they choose a specific diet that eliminates food groups or severely restricts foods that make life enjoyable.

We just aren’t wired for complete and total extremes. None of us are.

Who wants to be at a birthday party watching everyone else eat cake or not enjoy a meal out that you splurge a little?

Freedom is being able to do those things and knowing the end of the world won’t happen because you did.

In our daily nutrition we should strive to eat well with a good balance of all food groups. Little daily healthy choices add up for long term success.

Each meal should contain good portions of vegetables and fruits and a good amount of protein ( about 30%)

A healthy lifestyle means getting the appropriate nutrients we need but allowing ourselves a bit of freedom to have that treat.

It means that we can trust ourselves enough with those foods to eat and enjoy it and move on with life. When we blend our favorite things into a healthy eating plan we are less likely to binge because we’ve restricted ourselves

Building an awareness of food in our life will help us learn balance but also will lead to a slow steady weight loss that will be permanent

And …you’ll have your cake and eat it too 😉

More Nutrition And Diet Myths

Oh it’s been one of those weeks. Why does it seem like every time I turn around there is just another new version of craziness when it comes to diet, nutrition and exercise?

Sometimes, I don’t notice as much, but then when there is a lot of it I guess I’m more prone to thinking… stop… like stop it already.

Many times I’m glad I’m behind a computer when I see things so my eye roll isn’t apparent and obvious haha

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What’s got me bothered? 

Hmm, well I’ll tell you. Quite a few things. I guess I get troubled over information and shared ideas that people will gulp down as fast as a frog can gulp a fly.

I’m often horrified at how people believe things without their own research or fact gathering on a topic.

So what’s at the top of my list?

Can we please stop demonizing foods/food groups?

Really. Unless you have a medical condition, or a food allergy or abstaining from something just makes you overall feel better, then don’t get on the “exclude foods train” because Bob at work is doing it.

Worse yet are people who are on the train but have no idea why they are… like gluten free. Really, the only people who need to be on a gluten free diet are ones who have celiac disease.

Stop deciding foods are “bad” or that they offer no value.

Excluding entire food groups robs your body of essential vitamins and minerals not found in other foods you keep in your diet.

One of the worst things, like THE worst is how the diet industry has somehow made many fruits “bad”.

Fruit.

FRUIT!

Yes, I know I’m kinda yelling here, and yes I’m fully aware some fruits have a higher sugar content than others,

Big deal. Natural sugars found in fruits are not the same as sugars you get noshing on your donuts, cookies or candies. Or your 64 oz. big gulp soda.

Fruits are low calorie and loaded with so many amazing things for our body and really, you’d have to eat loads of high sugar fruits to make an impact on your health.

Stop demonizing fruit.

Is there a bumper sticker like that??

Listen you know what the enemy really is?

You… or more like you’re not controlling what goes in your mouth and the quantity of it. That is the problem.

Food is simply, food.

What we do with it becomes the bigger issue.

The magic diet bus.

Another one  bothering me, is constantly seeing credit given to a particular diet as if it holds the very unique and magical keys to unlocking permanent and successful weight loss.

Uh…if you believe that… I’ve got some diet pills to sell you…. 😉

All together now boys and girls, there is no great diet that is the be all and end all to successful weight loss.

I hate to keep throwing the same ‘ol science bubble around but here I go again…..

weight loss occurs, and only occurs, when there is a caloric deficit plain and simple.

Not because Diet “X, Y, Z” has made you lose weight.

You are simply consuming less calories, combined with maybe some purposeful exercise and that combination will lead to weight loss.

You’ve also most likely maybe made adjustments to some “non- essential” foods that has helped too.

And by that I  mean those extra snacks and treats you don’t need to live but make life worth living haha

Find what works for you, that gives your body real, nutrient dense food, and go from there. The idea is to do what is sustainable for you, for a lifetime, and not a few weeks or months.

And any plan that restricts, or eliminates foods is just not going to be long term sustainable. If it were I wouldn’t see people excited over having cheat days so they could feel normal again and have what’s been withheld from them. That’s a cycle you really don’t wanna be on.

You want a side of protein with that?

If there’s a marketing bus every company in the world has jumped on now, it’s the protein bus.

If it moves, let’s slap protein in it, and throw a big label on the package so the consumer who’s heard something about “getting more protein” will buy it up., even though they may not entirely know why. Kinda like the gluten free thing.

People really are sheep.

I mean after all, it worked for the “fat free” gimmick for years, right? I saw fat free on labels of products that would’ve never had fat in them to start with.  For example…A bag of jelly beans comes to mind ..

Honestly, I cannot tell you how many products that would never be a protein source I’ve seen on store shelves proudly displaying it “contains protein”.

Here’s a couple of my thoughts on this.

Protein IS important. It is the building block our bodies for skin, hair, cell growth, muscle growth etc

Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

There is also just a certain amount our bodies need and then excess is just flushed or stored as fat.

I swear by protein as the main thing in my meals that keeps me full, not sluggish and giving me that steady energy source….of course plenty of veggies and fruits go with that too to keep me full and give me all day energy.

Real foods with protein keep us satisfied longer and keep blood sugar levels steady ( meaning no crashing feeling)

The normal person has no trouble getting in their daily protein when they eat a balanced diet.

If you’re more athletic than the normal person, or a serious competitive  body builder, your needs may be different.

If at all possible, you should get your protein from real food sources and not added supplements.

Protein rich foods include dairy like Greek yogurt ( 23 grams of real protein in a cup serving of plain) cottage cheese, yogurts,eggs, lean meats, cheese, fish, milk  etc

Protein is also found in non meat sources like veggies and beans.  I wrote an article on that… find it here….https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2019/01/22/protein-rich-foods-for-weight-loss/

Always strive to eat real food for optimal nutrition.

Well boys and girls, that will wrap up my rants for the day.

Uh… for now anyways.

Now tell me, do you have any favorite things that make you a little crazy in the world of health and fitness?