Do you think you’re shit at dieting?
We’ve all been through the cycle – got on the bandwagon with the latest diet fad or joined a slimming club. We follow the rules and restrictions religiously for two or three weeks and start to see some results. We are winning at life – everything’s going well!
But then it starts to get harder – we’re craving those foods we’re not allowed and having dreams about running through the streets chasing a giant block of cheese. (No? Just me then?).
Maybe you reach your goal weight & think you can stop the diet and go back to what you were doing before?
Slowly though our old behaviours start to creep back in – we’re busy and what we learned from Sharon the Slimming Fucking World ‘advisor’ (zero nutrition qualifications) is just not sustainable. Before we know it we’re back where we started, or even worse, we’ve put MORE weight on.
Well I’ve got some good news for you! This doesn’t happen because you have no willpower or you’re not good enough. YOU are not the failure – your DIET is!
If these diets worked the diet industry wouldn’t exist. Poor old Sharon would be out of a job. Everyone would reach their goal weight and be able to maintain it easily. Simples.
But diets don’t work and this is why:
All diets work, and they all work on the same principle. They restrict calories. But diets are meant to be temporary. You’re not meant to be on a diet for fucking ever. Some companies have made this work to their advantage.
They’ve made a calorie deficit sound so complicated and created all sorts of proprietary methods around it. Their thinking is people won’t understand that it’s a calorie deficit and they’ll think it’s a magic fucking method that only works if they keep using it.
Think about it, Slimming Fucking World, Weightwatcher etc – who the fuck knows what a syn is and how to work it out?
They know that you’ll have to keep paying them because you don’t understand that all they’re doing is dressing up a calorie deficit into a ridiculously complicated system that no one understands.
If these companies were ethical, and TRULY cared about your wellbeing, they would use education and awareness to make sure you understood the principles of fat loss.
But apparently that’s not a good business model 🙄
Works for me though 😉
Through whatever trendy restriction they’re selling to you, you are eating fewer calories.
With too large a calorie deficit (I’m looking at you juice cleanses), your body will start to lose muscle as well as fat, which means your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) reduces – essentially you need fewer calories to just maintain your weight. When you start eating more calories again you put MORE weight back on. AKA yo-yo dieting.
DIETS TREAT THE SYMPTOMS BUT NOT THE CAUSE
If you have excess fat, chances are there’s a reason behind it, and I don’t mean a genetic one (you don’t have ‘big bones’). A tiny percentage of people have genetic problems that can’t be improved even slightly by a better diet. Most people overeat because they are anxious, stressed, sad, too busy, or even when they’re happy.
A huge percentage of diets leave us with a fucked up attitude towards food – certain foods are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and need to be counted as ‘syns’. They don’t tackle the emotional side of eating.
Take weight loss clubs as an example.
Good behaviour is rewarded by handing out stickers & badges. Great for the ‘loser’ of the week, but how about the other members, who may have had a stressful week at work and not been able to curb their emotional eating. They feel bad for failing again this week and the whole cycle starts again.
This classic carrot/stick system has been proven not to work:
Sure, when life is good and you’re feeling super motivated you abide by all the rules and regulations, but what about when you’re stressed at work or with the family, or going through a break up, or constantly tired? Can you do it then? Long term change should be sustainable.
So how do you spot a ‘bad’ diet?
If the regime you’re following encourages any of the following it’s time to bin it and try something new:
- Restriction of one or more food groups
- Rules restricting WHEN you can eat – don’t eat carbs after 6pm
- Not centred around whole foods – tablets, meal replacement shakes etc.
- Counting points or sins, or encouraging ‘unlimited eating’ of ‘free’ foods
- Focusing on ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods rather than behaviours
As much as I love all my Ninja’s, I don’t want them to be my clients forever.
If they have to stay with me forever I’m not doing my job properly!
My goal, with every single client, is to teach them how to eat well for life without my help. Some come back occasionally for specific goals, such as running a marathon, and some just catch up with me once per month because they like the accountability. But on the whole what they learn with me stays with them for life.
So what’s the answer? 🤷♀️
FOCUS ON HABITS, NOT FOOD – To be successful with our health in the long term we need to build good habits and we also need to feel good while doing it. Without getting too science-y, we need to change our brain’s neural pathways and you do this over time with sustained, repeated behaviour.
TAKE YOUR TIME – Be realistic, how long did it take you to put on the weight? Why do you think a ‘drop a dress size in a week’ diet is going to work?
START SMALL – make your changes small and achievable. Think about how it would feel to grow in confidence every day as you learn to make the right food choices and become amazed at how easy it is to have a balanced attitude towards food.
It definitely beats the short-term elation of losing 5kgs and then the despair of putting it all back on when you return to your normal eating patterns?
BE CONSISTENT – Long term weight loss isn’t as exciting & sexy as saying I lost 10lbs in 10 days. It’s a pretty boring routine actually! But guess what – our bodies and brains like routine, they thrive on it. And making the right choices every day, going to bed and waking up at the same time, exercising regularly, having a morning or bedtime routine – these things contribute to better health. Consistency is key.
ENJOY THE PROCESS – it may seem annoying at first to start so small, & maybe a bit disheartening as you see your friend who’s on a juice cleanse lose twice as much as you this month. But who wants to drink kale juice 5 times a day? She’s miserable as fuck and feels like shit – you don’t. This is your new lifestyle, take pleasure in the little things and don’t obsess over the end result.
Eating well shouldn’t be a choice between being happy, or being healthy – you CAN have both!
If you’re wondering how the fuck you put all this into practice, look no further 😉
My mission is to equip you with the skills and knowledge to make informed choices, and pass those ninja skills on to your family, friends and colleagues.
I can help you with techniques to improve your decision-making and thought processes around food. You’ll never need to ‘diet’ again.
If you’re ready to take back control of your health, apply here.