Fad Diets Don’t Work
That’s right, you’ve heard it many times before so why do people keep turning to them? Let’s take a look at some statistics. According to the CDC, about 2/3 of American’s are either “on a diet” or “trying to maintain their weight”. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering the amount of obesity and obesity related diseases in this country. So let’s look at how successful these people are. Out of about 29% of men and 44% of women, only 5% of them will keep that weight off.
Why Fad Diet?
People tend to do fad dieting because we live in a fast paced world where quick satisfaction has become the norm. Most fad diets are very low in calories, even as low as 800 calories per day regardless of sex and height. Most fad diets promise you that you will lose weight fast and “feel great”. This is actually true. Most people on an 800 calorie diet will lose weight fast, but it’s typically water and muscle loss. Some promise you will retain muscle and lose only fat. This may be true too, in the short term. What they don’t tell you is that you might have to completely eliminate certain food groups, eat prepackaged foods, and go through silly “phases” to obtain your weight. Fact of the matter is, if it’s not a program you can do for life, then you will most likely fail. About 80% of people who lose weight on fad diets, tend to gain it all back plus 10 more pounds within a 5 year period. That brings you right back to square one but you’re actually worse off. Over that 5 year period, you have most likely lost substantial metabolic tissue (muscle) and increased your risk for illness, nutrient deficiencies, and other metabolic imbalances.
Lose Fat, Not Weight
The true goal should be about losing fat, not weight. Nobody wants to count calories, points, order prepackaged foods, or drink shakes all their life. Some of the ideas and “foods” may have been helpful, such as educating you on the importance of not skipping meals, or keeping your insulin levels stable. But again, if you can’t stick to it for life, then consider it temporary. No diet should ever recommend that you DON’T exercise!! That’s a huge warning sign right there. You have to exercise. Let me repeat; you HAVE to exercise your entire life.
Studies show that gradual lifestyle changes over time are the best, most effective way to reduce health risks and improve body composition long term. Fact of the matter is, you need to focus on changing your body composition, not just looking at the numbers on the scale. The best way to do this is through modifications to your food intake, addressing underlying issues such as hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, gut health, and incorporating progressive exercise into your life schedule. I call it your life schedule because it really is about working your health into your life, not keeping it a side bar or something you only pay attention to when something goes clinically wrong. The truth is, no one woke up one day overweight or obese. It was typically a chronic or slow progression due to the way you have lived your life.
Now, some may say, “I’ve been heavy all my life, so there’s not much I can do”. Genetics only accounts for less than 10% of disease. That means you have been suffering from poor lifestyle choices for a long time. Many of our behaviors (habits) are influenced by how our family lives. Many “behaviors” are passed down, not necessarily genetics. If your family loves pasta and soda, then you most likely grew up eating past and soda. If your family ate vegetables and fruits daily, you will most likely eat fruits and vegetables. Think about how your family ate meals. Did you sit down to eat or eat on the go? Did you eat at restaurants a lot or at home? Did you ever visit a garden or eat out of a box? This also goes for activity level. Did you see your family moving around and exercising or did you see them sitting a lot, playing cards, knitting, etc? Most thin people are not genetically thin. They actually do NOT eat the whole sleeve of oreo cookies. They actually DO move more. Yes, it’s true. They make these choices because they like being thin. We are greatly influenced by our surroundings, even if subconsciously. Your are not locked into your pattern. You can break the cycle!!
How Do You Break The Cycle?
You break the fad dieting and poor lifestyle behavior pattern by first thinking about what you want to change. Most visualize being thin, happy and energetic. Some think about playing with their grandchildren. Some think about never having to take a medication again, no more aches and pain, never having to worry about blood sugars, and simply living a more “free” lifestyle. Some may simply look at their parents and hope they don’t end up with their health. Visualization is important. If you don’t think about it first, it wont happen.
Next, you need to become educated about your body and how your lifestyle behaviors influence your weight loss efforts. Many don’t realize they have hormonal imbalances that make it difficult to lose fat. Some are amazed to find out that their gut health can greatly impact their ability to lose fat. Some can’t believe that they have to progress in their exercise to burn fat. Some aren’t aware that toxicity and psychological STRESS is preventing them from burning fat.
Finally, you need a plan. One thing that makes lifestyle planning different is that you are not going to get a plan thrown at you and told to “just do it”. You can no longer say, “just tell me what to do and I’ll do it”. Sorry, it simply doesn’t work that way. Along with being educated on how foods respond to your body, which to avoid and why, you will also work on how YOU want to bring these lifestyle changes into your life schedule. Yes, that’s right. You will be an active participant in your life changes. You will not be following someone else’s plan. It will be specific to you. You will not be “made to” do something you are not willing to do, but you will certainly explore why you refuse to do something. During lifestyle therapy, you are responsible for becoming AWARE of your behaviors and ability to apply change to your life. You got where you are mostly by not paying attention, now you HAVE to pay attention.
First Line Therapy
FLT is a therapeutic lifestyle program that focuses on education, coaching, and real change to your body composition through lifestyle choices. You will learn that every behavior you choose to do is exactly that….a choice. You will learn about your motivators, barriers, triggers, sabotagers, and your deep seated reasons why you wont change certain dynamics of your health. I use the word “wont” because “can’t’ is simply another way of saying the same thing. You will learn about nutrition that is effective for your body, and about functional exercise (the kind that actually works) that is most effective to fat burn in the smallest amount of time. You will also learn about how important sleep and stress management is to health. The majority of healthcare cost is linked to stress related illness. Stress really is the silent killer. You will be given tools and techniques that can literally be done at your desk or in your car during lunch that will greatly reduce stress and improve fat burning ability.
Life will always get in the way. It’s time to learn how to manage it!! It is not how we are born and die, but how we choose to live our lives. You are not stuck. Remember, less than 10% of disease is linked to genetics. You CAN overcome your cycles of fad dieting and make real change that lasts. Eat Well and Beyond is here to help. It’s time to stop the viscous cycle of diet and regain. It’s time to slow the aging process, reduce risk of disease, BURN FAT and improve your QUALITY of LIFE!!
Consultation are available to those in the NH area. Stay tuned for online consultations in the future.