In case you haven’t heard. Diets don’t work.
Seriously – 97% of diets fail in the long term. They may work for a short while, but then the all too familiar scenario occurs – the weight often comes back – and then some.
Imagine if you were to go to the doctor looking for birth control and he told you that there was a 97% chance it wouldn’t work, would you still buy it? I’m going to assume the answer is no and yet we continue to torture ourselves with the next best diet plan.
When we think of ‘diets’ names like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and SureSlim might come to mind. But there is more to a diet than just a brand name, diets are based on a series of rules and behaviours that are designed to restrict certain foods in order to manipulate our weight.
I remember when I was engaged in certain diets out there masquerading as just healthy eating. I would tell myself “it’s not a diet it’s just heating healthy” but it couldn’t have been further from the truth. There are a lot of these so-called ‘healthy eating’ plans out there, but how do you know if it’s just another diet in disguise? I encourage you to ask yourself these questions:
• Is the goal of the program solely to manipulate our weight or “get that bikini body”?
• Do you have very specific meal plans to follow.
• Are there clear ‘rules’ eliminating certain foods or dictating when or what you’re supposed to eat?
• Do you feel anxious in social settings where the foods is definitely not ‘on the plan'?
• Does it label certain foods as “bad” and “good” or even “healthy” and “unhealthy”?
• Does eating something that is not on the plan make you feel guilty or shameful?
• Do you notice your cravings for certain foods intensifying? Is it ok for you to have your favourite foods on occasion?
• Do other people on this diet get annoyingly self righteous? (sorry, had to throw that one in!).
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, sorry, but chances are your healthy eating plan is just another diet. A healthy eating plan involves a healthy mindset and which is why I go into depth about this in my book The Empowered Eating Handbook; but for now just know that any way of eating that encourages you to ditch your favourite foods completely (unless you need to for medical reasons) is unfortunately just a diet.
If you want to go on a diet, that’s totally your choice. Look at it as an experiment and please don’t beat yourself up if you fail. That’s the diet’s fault, not yours.
And if you want to feel physically and psychologically well without falling into another diet trap pretending to be ‘healthy eating’ I've got a program to suit both your goals and budget. Let’s say bye-bye to diets and hello to health.