Keto, Paleo, Weight Watchers, Isagenix….the list goes on. With many options, it’s near impossible to guess what will work for you. Let’s take a quick look at the them:
Keto: Keto gets its name from the term “ketosis”. Ketosis is a metabolic process in which your body (having little carbohydrates) burns fat for fuel. Keto is known for helping to drop body weight very quickly. This diet is growing in popularity and thousands of people reap the benefits of lower body weight and body fat percentage, and improved body composition (among many other listed benefits).
Paleo: A Paleo diet includes meat and fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables and seeds. It is comprised of foods that would have been found by hunters and gatherers. You won’t find much in terms of dairy, grains, or beans on this list. This diet has shown to lower and maintain body weight and improve issues for people with high triglycerides and high blood pressure.
Weight watchers: Weight Watchers is a very popular program that helps you decrease your calorie intake by giving an allotment of “points” and allowing you to choose from a list of “free” foods throughout your day. Many people have shown improvements in body weight.
Isagenix: This “cleanse” focuses on not only reducing your calorie intake, but also on stabilizing your alkalinity. The claim is that their products can help remove impurities from the body and help build it up with the proper nutrition. Their product line includes shakes, snacks, detox drinks, and many other supplements.
The fact is that there are more diets on the market than I can write about. And the four that I named have been shown to bring people huge improvements in both their body composition and confidence. That is amazing! The problem lies in maintenance.
If you find a program that works for you, then you have my full support. BUT…. I tell everyone who discusses diets with me that “If you’re starting a new diet, you better be prepared to follow it for the rest of your life”. You can go on a strict diet, follow someone else’s rules, take their supplements, use their products, and you lose weight. You’ll feel great, like you are going to reach your goals and be all set. Then what???? You can’t just stop. What happens when the program is over? What happens if you can’t afford to keep buying the supplements? What happens if you want to incorporate other foods that you love? What happens when you want to go to a party and have a few appetizers and beverages? Does your progress fall apart?
I am not in any way knocking these programs or the people who have found success using them. I am talking to the people who just can’t stick to a diet, who feel deprived and then binge, who are sick of living life according to someone else’s rules. If it’s you I’m talking to, then read along:
My top 5 ways to stop dieting:
Stop following what works for someone else. Your body is unique. Your metabolism is unique. Your situation is unique. If you enjoy pasta at family dinner, then you shouldn’t force yourself to give it up. If you hate shakes, then um…..don’t drink them. If you unwind with a glass of wine after a long day’s work, then keep doing that! You can find what works for you!
Make small short-term goals: Can you lose 10 lbs. in a month by following a strict diet? Probably. Will you gain them all back as soon as you stop? Absolutely. Start by setting attainable goals: “I will drink more water everyday”, “I will prioritize sleep and get at least 7 hours a night”, “I will go for at least 3 walks this week”, “I will add more vegetables to my meals”. These goals may sound silly initially, especially if you’re looking for immediate results. But the truth is that long lasting results don’t happen immediately.
Practice a little self-love. Stop beating yourself up. Stop making negative comments about yourself. Stop expecting perfection. Stop looking at other women and wanting what they have. Appreciate you. Say something nice about yourself every day. No good outcome ever came from negative thoughts.
Start listening to your body. After learning so many tools and diet tricks, it’s hard to remember that our bodies give us all the information we need. Instead of focusing on a diet rule, focus on paying attention to how your body feels before and after you eat. If you feel a craving, ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if you’re bored and want to eat out of habit? If it’s a habit, distract yourself. Get up and walk around. Call someone. Start to break the habit. If you’re hungry….eat! Want something sweet? Try a square of dark chocolate with some berries. Knowing what your body needs will take you much farther than trying to white knuckle it through someone else’s rules.
Change your mind in order to change your body. Understand that change can be scary, but it can be so worth it. If you really want your body to change for the long term, then you first have to come to terms with the fact that it took time to get to where you are. It’s going to take time to get to where you want to be. We learned bad habits, therefore, we can learn better ones.
My simple tips include: eating protein and fiber at every meal, eating healthy fats and starches, and keeping myself very hydrated. If you’re tired of failing at diets, now may be the time to get back to basics, learn new habits, and start making changes that will last forever.