Listening to the radio this morning whilst driving the car and they were doing a segment on “crazy diets that worked”.
The announcers were going on about the different diets they had tried – one did an orange diet and all he was allowed to eat were 6 oranges at every scheduled meal time and someone else in the studio tried a purple diet with everything only allowed to be purple. (weird huh)
The antics went on and they got a few calls from listeners also explaining various fad diets.
The thing that I found quite strange was that after each discussion they would sound surprised when each victim of the diet said that it had worked with weight losses recorded of up to 15 kilos at a time.
They would all be shocked and amazed at the fact that these crazy diets worked.
You see everything that I have learned over the years about dieting, metabolism and losing weight is the simple truth that Diets will always work – if you stick to them.
Because you are shocking your SYSTEM.
Either by way of starvation or just by simple metabolic manipulation for that period of time you are on the diet. It also only works because it’s for a short period of time. If you stayed on these crazy diets for a LONG time they would also stop working. Your body is always looking for a system to get used to and that’s why everything plateaus eventually.
Most of the time you are losing water and muscle but there is always the chance you will lose some fat as well.
Now of course I’m not silly enough to suggest we all go on diets because they work.
Gosh that would do terrible things to my reputation.
But if I was to go back to the original question at the top of the page and ask how do we make Weight Loss Permanent.
The answer is we STOP going on Diets. – Actually I will go one step further and say we stop THINKING Diets.
The majority of people these days are well educated enough to say – Diets don’t work –BUT we haven’t fixed our programming around the food we are eating and the things we are saying.
You see unless we actually stop sounding like we are on a diet then our body and mind will still think and act like we are on one.
You’re at work and the cakes and biscuits come out – you are a NEW healthy eating person (notice I didn’t say on a diet) – and everyone else is trying to encourage you to have something to eat. You know you don’t want to say anything but someone else might say those dreaded words..
“Oh you’re not on a diet are you?” – “Go on have one!”
Or you say,
“None for me thanks I’m on a diet” – or worse “I’m being Good today”
This type of statement sends shock waves through your sub conscious and almost rings a big bell to your body saying DIET! DIET! DIET! and the little rebellious child inside all of us wants to start playing up if it hears you talking about ‘being good’ for too many days in a row.
Either way you have this underlying feeling of ‘missing out’.
Once you have done this long enough you will feel the need to be rewarded for your good behavior and most likely end up eating a whole packet of biscuits. OR the other scenario is if something bad happens, like a bad day at work or fight with your partner or a teenager drives you mad – YOUR rebellious child kicks in and say right – stuff this I’m being ‘Bad’ too and sit down with a tub of ice cream.
I realize I might be sounding a little dramatic with my examples but between my own experience and that of my clients I have heard these scenarios played out many times.
Even after all these years, I just tried a Diet last month – (latest fad thing) 25 days guaranteed to cut you down to a twig. It included fasting, bingeing and a day of pure shakes only. Sounds like a blast right. Well it worked.
Of course 🙂
But the problem is not the dieting – it’s the coming down part that sucks.
After all that GOOD behavior eating – I of course spent a week after wards rewarding myself by eating anything that was considered food, cleaning out the cupboards and feeling sick, horrible and guilty as hell.
I realized once and for all that it’s not the diet that doesn’t work it’s the Normal that doesn’t work.
If we want to make weight loss permanent we need to make the focus of being healthy, permanent.
Believe in ourselves that we CAN make healthy choices on a daily basis and sometimes having the odd not so healthy choice of food.
- This provides a healthy mind rather then the body.
- Stop thinking in terms of behavior such as GOOD and BAD – we don’t need to be punished and we don’t need food as a reward.
- Avoid the DIET Speak – the choices you are making are for the health of your body not for a stop start dieting program.
- Keep your focus on being healthy not losing weight because then it’s continuous, just think of losing weight as a symptom of being healthy.
If someone offers us cake we can either say no thanks I don’t feel like cake today or eat it whole heartedly and believe and trust in yourself that you can either choose to work it off later or make the right choices another time without having to eat the whole cake as a reward.
You can do it I know you can…
We were all put on this earth with the ability to take care of ourselves without the pocket calorie counter at birth.
That’s it from me
I’m going to eat a cupcake now icing and all 🙂
Charlie G Hunter
The Healthy Life Coach