Diets Do Work

eat dietDiets Don't Work! DIETS DON'T WORK!! It's declared with the same hysteria as "The sky is falling!" And who is shouting it the loudest? Trainers, supplement makers, past failed dieters, and doctors ready and willing to staple or strap your innards or vacuum the grease from under your skin.
"Diets don't work" is as misleading of a phrase as "Carbohydrates are unhealthy." Broccoli is a carbohydrate. Oatmeal is a carbohydrate. Are broccoli and oats unhealthy?

The word diet has become an infamous four-letter-word in the fitness industry. Although it has more than one definition the word diet has been designated to represent an extreme style of eating that can be considered punishing, restrictive, limited, unpleasant, and at times unhealthy or dangerous. Often when a diet can be categorized using one or more of those adjectives it is often temporary and the person that was subjected to that diet revolts and goes so far in the opposite direction that they sabotage all past efforts of getting to their desired body composition.

 

I'm sure by now you've heard the term Yo-yo dieter. Just in case you haven't here's the victim and their scenario:

1. The person decides to diet to "lose weight" (mistake number 1!)

2. They pick an extreme fad diet. (Celebrity endorsements always help.)


3. They endure it just long enough to make some noticeable progress.


4. They feel miserable and realize there's no way they can keep up their current eating routine.


5. They ditch the diet.


6. They overindulge on everything they deprived themselves of while on the diet.


7. They regain the water weight, muscle mass, bone mass, and fat that they lost while on the fad diet.


8. They get frustrated, again, that they are over-fat.


9. They choose another, possibly more extreme fad diet and start all over again with number 3.

 

Obviously that is not the "diet" I'm referring to. I am talking about a sensible eating plan that takes into consideration the following:

 

1. Your nutritional needs for health. This means getting your nutrients from a variety of healthful foods, using supplementation only as a backup guarantee.

 

2. The correct intake of kilocalories. This range of calories needs to be based on your desired/goal body weight and body composition, and your activity level.

 

3. Your taste preferences. If you restrict yourself too much there's a great chance you'll fall off the wagon. Ropes or straps won't help.

 

4. Your schedule. If you honestly can't eat 5 or 6 or 8 mini meals every day then don't subject yourself to the added stress and hassle of trying to eat that way. Be realistic.

 

If you can, grow and prepare your own food.

Enjoy yourself without losing control. Look at it this way- unless you're preparing for some competition, if you're on a diet you can't wait to get off of then you are on too extreme of a diet. On the other hand if every meal is a feast of pure gastronomical luxury you might need to rethink and retool your diet.

Done right, diets do work.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Comments   

 
Ruth
# Ruth 2012-12-06 22:56
From my experience, I've found there are three m's that are essential to successful dieting: motivation, moderation, and maintenance. To make a long explanation short, you need to be motivated to go on a diet, you need to do everything in moderation so you don't binge and go back to old habits, and you need to maintain your new healthy habits to keep the weight off and stay healthy. I agree--dieting DOES work!
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Aaron
# Aaron 2012-12-07 22:15
You got it, especially the moderation part.

Thank you for your comment.
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