Research has shown that diets don’t work. In fact, what it said is that two-thirds of people who go on a diet will put their weight back on and more so. They concluded that dieting was a predictor of future weight gain.
I understand why people go on diets as it seems it’s the only thing to do if you lose weight. Even if people call it ‘eating healthy’ rather than a diet there are still food rules that are usually attached to the new plan. It could be, ‘no alcohol’, or ‘no chocolate’ or “ I must exercise every day’. The problem with these rules is that you will break them and when you do people usually break them really well! Unfortunately, the end result is feeling guilty and frustrated rather than weight loss.
The reason diets don’t work is that they don’t teach you anything about yourself or your food. The food you eat at the moment serves a purpose- it either fits in with your family or it’s quick and easy or you really enjoy it. All these things are relevant and should be taken into consideration when you plan a healthy eating program. How many times have you started a new plan only to have it fall off because you can’t keep it up or you didn’t have time to do all the cooking and shopping required?
If you have a busy week the food you plan to cook must take this into consideration and be easy to put together. If it’s not, you won’t do it. If I have a night where I’m busy after work the meals I plan will be out of a can and have a few vegetables thrown in if I can – if I can’t then no big deal – it’s not take away so it’s more likely to be lower in calories and higher in nutrition because I have prepared it at home.
For example- instead of fish and chips you could get some frozen fish ( better without batter oven baked fries and some frozen mixed vegetables – throw it all in the oven and the vegies on the stove top or microwave and dinner is ready with very little input from you in 30 minutes. Not Master Chef and it never has to be #goodenough.
Having plans for meals that fit into your lifestyle is one area you can make a healthy diet work for you in the long term…instead of trying to follow someone else’s plan= diet. If you have followed meal plans or diets in the past and really liked some of the things, then bring them back in and chuck out the parts that didn’t work for you.
Lisa is a Dietitian, behaviour change coach, mentor, speaker and author. She has been practicing over 23 years and specializes in holistically customizing diet and lifestyle plans to each individual for weight loss and a healthy relationship with food. Her clientele often report they feel the best they have ever felt and wish they had started sooner, as they have no guilt around eating and have successfully changed the way they look at eating well and losing weight.