So you’re trying to lose some weight so you start looking around the interwebs for some popular diets. There are so many to choose from nowadays. You can go onto Amazon and download the latest diet books for about $20 bucks, read them front to cover and then go start killing yourself in about two hours or so…
Or you can stop the insanity right now!
Here are 5 Reasons Why Your Diet Fails
- Your body is smarter than your diet.
- You can’t always undercut your calories and lose weight.
- Your life sucks when you’re on a diet.
- Life is too short to live without wine, cheese, crackers, bread, pasta, etc., FOREVER!
- Diets always, always fail!
Now don’t get me wrong, at certain times one does have to manipulate a few things in their nutrition in order to reach their body composition goals. But dieting is just a short recipe to die early while being hungry.
Your Body is Smart
Whenever you engage upon a weight loss goal you usually do one of these four things. You avoid certain foods. You watch when you eat them—nutrient timing. You clear out all the junk or processed food. You restrict your caloric intake.
Boom, that’s awesome and it’s a good start for a weight loss goal. However, your body is very smart and when you start restricting the types and amounts of food that you have coming in your body knows it. Not to mention you KNOW IT! And we all think this is a bad idea. We’re human after all and frail when it comes to our eating compulsions.
Being Overly Restrictive
When you start eating below your daily maintenance level of calories, that’d be your Resting Metabolic Rate, your body gets to a point where it feels starved. And it is…
When it does this, it starts shutting down vital functions in order to help preserve your body mass. It’s more of a survival thing than anything else.
Your metabolism is like a bucket. When your “bucket” is used to getting fed a certain amount, say 2000 kcals a day at a stable weight, it is functioning normally. Cellular processes are working along at a good clip and providing there are no pending nutritional deficiencies your operating at all six cylinders.
When you start under eating or avoiding certain nutrients your body starts to get worried that you’re not feeding it optimally and therefore it stops doing some functions like making hormones, enzymes and other small things that won’t kill you, but you’ll feel like everything is much more difficult than it has to be.
The end result is your bucket size changes after a while.
And since you’re not eating very much you’re so tired you spend more time sitting, sleeping or doing very little of any activity. This is how our body reduces our overall activity level to accommodate for the lack of adequate calories and thus results in a reduction of our bucket size that is now say only 1000kcals.
So what happens now when you splurge on a big tray of cookies or ice cream at a party? You had a big bucket to fill up before and now you’re left with a measly 1000 kcals. I guess the runoff will go right into the body fat stores and that’s what we want for sure.
This is why all those fad diets ultimately fail in the end. Human beings will continue to splurge on things they crave or are deficient in. No one is going to stick with something forever unless an outside force is making them do it. And there’s very rarely someone holding a gun to your head after those cookies are on the tray, although that’d probably be a good motivator for not eating the cookies.
Wait, did someone say cookies…
Survival Is The Point
All your body cares about is preserving itself to keep on living and breathing. It really could care less that you look good in a bikini or not. To survive your body needs a certain amount of macronutrients (calories) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to perform and look your best.
Now the components of nutrition simply state that your diet must adhere to your lifestyle, it has to be honest, it must work towards good health and body composition and you should consume a variety of foods to not be under deficient in micronutrients.
It says nothing about starving or not eating. It doesn’t even say that you can’t have the foods you enjoy. Naturally eating too much of the wrong types and quantities of food has consequences, but trying to deprive yourself of everything joyful about food doesn’t solve the problem.
To Win At Dieting…Don’t Diet
In order to win at this weight loss battle you simply have to change your lifestyle and it may mean giving up certain foods for a time being. But more importantly it means changing how you look at food.
It doesn’t have to stop being awesome and enjoyable, it just means you have to adopt some better protocols for eating. Notice I say protocols versus dieting.
Because in the real world we’re all big boys and girls and we can think for ourselves. Your nutrition is in your hands and you have control over whatever you’re putting in your face. It doesn’t mean you can’t eat the foods you want, it just means you have to earn them and learn when to have them and when not to.
-Earn them by put some extra hours in at the gym building some muscle to help burn off those extra calories and add some muscle mass to burn calories even when you’re not doing anything.
-Eat better quality foods that you know are going to be less caloric dense and have some key nutrients that will help your body perform better.
-Get plenty of protein rich foods and healthy fats.
-Avoid too much of the overly processed foods and eat real food that you make yourself.
In essence all you’re really doing is getting rid of some of the junk you’ve been eating for the past decade and start building a new foundation with healthier substitutes. You’re not starving your body or depriving it for long. It just means that if you have the twinkie, well you’d better get moving to burn off some of that calorie load and maybe you’ll pass on the extra linguini for dinner and have a salad with some chicken instead.
If you fill up with the good stuff and keep your body properly fueled you’ll be ready for some intense activities and also have the energy to run on all six cylinders. Maybe you can even add some horsepower from your abundance of energy and performance. After all doesn’t everyone just want to eat, drink and be awesome.
Please let me know how you’re nutrition is going with some comments on your favorite diet problems or fixes, I’d love to help!