The Drama with Diets

Raise your hand if you’ve ever started a diet!

Great, now raise your hand if you lost weight on that diet!

Okay, now raise your hand if you’ve managed to keep the weight off that you’ve lost from said diet!

I’m going to go ahead and assume that less and less hands were raised, and also that you looked pretty silly raising your hands while reading this.

But why were less hands raised with each question? Why have so many of us started a diet but not finished it or got the results we wanted? Why have so many people not been able to keep off the weight they have successfully lost from their diets? These are frustrating yet honest questions that many people think about especially when looking back on their history of dieting.

The answers are simple, well, kind of. So many products in the weight loss industry are directed to the consumer who is unhappy, vulnerable, uneducated, and knows will not research the product. (Psst this also goes for the junk food/soda/fast food/tobacco companies that market to children or those is poorer areas).

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They feed of a consumer’s blind knowledge or vulnerability to sell their products. Do you think the above advertisement (I’m assuming for a weight loss pill or powder) will really help you lose 25 pounds in 2 weeks? FIRST OF ALL if you are losing that much in 2 weeks, you need to see a doctor immediately because my God that is certainly not healthy. But the fact that it was also advertised by NBC, CNN, and ABC is appalling. The companies producing this nonsense spend a majority of their revenue and investments on advertising. Do you know how much money a company has to spend to get their products advertised on those network stations? A BUTT LOAD THAT’S HOW MUCH.

Pro Tip: The more heavily advertised a product or service is, the less likely it is to truly be beneficial to you and your health.

Sure there are exceptions, but look at the advertisements for Coca-Cola compared to water. McDonalds advertisements compared to fruits and vegetables advertisements. They don’t even compare.

Now that you’ve been convinced by all over the media that a certain miracle pill will help you lose weight at a dangerously fast speed, you decide to pay way too much money for it. The directions usually involve you following a restrictive meal plan or guidelines in order to lose the desired amount of weight. The plan includes new foods you’ve never eaten before, or made, or even heard of. But hey, it will help you lose 25 POUNDS all by following these simple instructions.

If it’s a diet plan, you’ll likely have to commit to a lifestyle change which may be difficult or unrealistic to you. If you decide to go vegan know that it may be challenging if you often eat animal products now. If you decide to try keto but you don’t like nuts or cheese or love your carbs, it will not be easy for you. If you try Weight Watchers but the meals don’t taste very good to you or you don’t like counting meals, then it is going to be hard for you. But that is it, it is going to be hard.

You have more than likely, eaten the way you are eating now your entire life. Have you grown up on fast food? Soda? Large meals? Well changing that all at once is challenging. It took you years and years to develop the habits you have now, they will not suddenly change over night, even if you are motivated.

TIME AND PATIENCE

If you are truly dedicated to lose weight, be patient. It should be a slow, gradual process not a quick overnight (or two week) fix. Depending on your weight, age, and physical activity, standard weight loss should be between 0.5-2.0 lbs/ week. Your current weight will have the biggest factor in this. So be patient with yourself, it took years and years for you to be at the weight you currently are at. And though it may not take you years and years to lose it, it will be a gradual process. More changes may come in each week and non-scale victories may take over from the number on the scale for a bit.

Non-scale victories to be proud of:

  • Clothes fitting loser
  • More energy
  • Reaching for healthier options without questioning it
  • Increased strength and mobility
  • Increased quality of life

Now after you have reached a point where you have lost weight and you do not want to follow the diet patterns anymore, it can be tricky. Studies have shown that up to 95% of dieters gain back the weight they lost, most within the following year. Why? This often time has to do with not gradually introducing the foods the dieter was not once eating anymore. The introduction of more highly processed, sugary, high glycemic, calorically dense foods should be a slow process as well. If a dieter has been on the keto diet for 6 months, loses a good amount of weight then one day decides to give up and eat their previous portions of carbohydrates again, they are certainly going to gain weight again. However, if done slowly and gradually, it can be much more controlled. Often times, weight loss is avoidable when the diet changes however the amount can be controlled.

If you decide to follow a strict diet to lose weight, please remember to be patient with yourself! Make sure to do your research, make sure it is beneficial and not too restrictive, and make sure it is possible for you! If it seems too hard or becomes too difficult, it is okay to stop it at anytime! Listen to your body, feed it the nutrients it needs, and by helping your body flourish you are also helping yourself flourish as well.

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