Why diets don’t work

Hello my lovely readers,

Today is day 3 of my 5 day juice cleanse. I know what some of you are thinking; cleanses don’t work because the body naturally detoxes and it’s not permanent weight loss. Well, I’m not doing this to lose 6 pounds in 3 days or permanently remove a major food group out of my diet. Truthfully, I needed to up my veggie intake and I wanted to see how the power of juicing veggies/fruit has on the body. After the half way point, I feel more alert, less bloated, more energetic and I have even lost 1.5 pounds (which is huge because I’ve been plateauing lately). I simply juice twice a day using fresh produce like spinach, kale, ginger root, apples, lemons, mangoes, carrot and cucumbers and then I eat a bowl of homemade mixed veggie soup with spicy tomato sauce. I also throw in beans, nuts and a little yogurt to keep me from becoming ravenous during the day and also replenishes my protein. I am eating the same amount of calories in a day as I did before–no, I am not starving myself, just experimenting with more nutrient-dense food.

I got to thinking today that there are SO many diets, cleanses and fad detoxes out there. People want a quick fix and they don’t want to work hard for it. So yes, cutting out an entire food group like carbohydrates, protein or fat will most likely lead to initial weight loss. What people don’t know is that that most of that weight is water weight and that 10 pounds they magically lost in a week will come back–and in some cases are accompanied by even more.

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Many of today’s popular diets are too low in fat, which leaves people hungry right after eating. These kinds of diets don’t work because you eventually overeat to keep from feeling like you’re starving. Same goes for diets limiting carbs– these usually can’t be maintained for long because our bodies need a certain amount of carbohydrates to function properly. Diets limiting carbohydrates leave your body feeling fatigued and usually puts you in a bad mood. This is because carbs are the body’s main form of fuel needed for energy.

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Another reason diets fail is because they’re way too low in calories. Your body needs a certain number of calories each day just to maintain normal day-to-day functioning. Diets that drastically cut calories puts the body in starvation mode by downgrading how many calories it needs at rest because it’s trying to conserve energy. The pounds people lose from cutting calories are most likely lean muscle mass rather than fat because muscle burns more calories so your body wants to rid itself of that and hold onto fat for energy. Then, when people return to their old habits, their weight skyrockets and piles back on plus some.

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Although all food groups are essential for well-being, some foods are more important that others. This doesn’t mean you need to completely remove it from your diet, just keep that food item as more of an occasional treat. Red meat, eggs, sugar, good fats (oil, avocado, nuts) and wheat are just a few examples of items that are fine every once in a while. Just because it’s a good fat or natural sugar doesn’t mean you can eat twice as much–sugar is still sugar and fat is still fat–just remember moderation is key.

Simply put, a diet or fad detox doesn’t work long term and neither do magic shakes or weight loss pills. Losing weight should never be advertised as an immediate result. If so, run far, far away–it’s a scam! Weight loss takes time and patience. Fat in your body didn’t accumulate overnight, so you can’t expect to lose it overnight. Eating clean and committing to your lifestyle will give you the results you are looking for if you stick to it and follow it truthfully.

Here are 5 ways to embark on a lifestyle change (instead of a diet):

1. Start a food journal. Be honest. What you eat in private shows in public.

2. Find an accountability partner. Friends, partner, family–doesn’t matter–just make sure you keep each other on the bandwagon.

3. Plot out your goals and envision your success. Make short-term goals and reward yourself with items other than food like a massage, new shirt, shoes or a weekend away.

4. Don’t get too down on yourself. We all fall sometimes, we’re only human. Getting back in the game makes you stronger and you will be happy you didn’t throw in the towel

5. Be your own cheerleader, but share your journey with others. Don’t expect others to motivate you, but who knows, maybe some day you will be the one motivating others.

I hope this helps answer questions about the difference between a diet and a lifestyle change. Anyone can go on a temporary diet, but it take guts and willpower to pursue a lifestyle change and I’m here to tell you–YOU have what it takes, don’t give up on yourself!

-Kailee

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