3 REASONS DIETS DON’T WORK
We’ve all tried a diet that just didn’t work, even though it promised us results – and we were left there thinking “Why didn’t that diet work for me?” or “WHY DON’T DIETS EVER WORK?”
I’ve been dieting since I was about 13, so I’ve had a lot of experience with this sort of thing – and I’ve seen a pattern with all of the diets that I’ve tried (I’ve tried pretty much every diet out there).
Whether it’s been a low-carb diet that I’ve tried – or a high-carb, a low-fat, a high-fat, a high-protein, a raw-vegan, a Paleo, a Banting, a vegetarian, or a juice diet – THERE ARE 3 COMMON REASONS WHY “DIETS” DON’T WORK.
In this post, I’m going to highlight the 3 common reasons why diets don’t work – so that you can move past these points and start to get the results that you want.
Cause let’s be honest – when you diet and you don’t see any results, it’s got to be the most frustrating thing in the world!
3 REASONS SUMMARY
REASON 1 – Extreme Ideas
REASON 2 – Calories Count
REASON 3 – No Balance
REASON 1 – Extreme Ideas
With every kind of fad diet, there always seems to be an extreme idea that comes along with it.
EXAMPLE: Cutting out all carbs (because carbs are “evil”), or only drinking juice for 7 days (because eating no whole foods will make you lose all of your body fat), or even eating a high-carb diet (because if you eat only carbs, then you will burn through fat stores).
First of all, these extreme ideas make us feel confused (Wasn’t it bad to eat carbs last year? Now I’m eating bananas all day?) and confusion doesn’t make dieting any easier.
Second, these extreme ideas (the low-carb, high-carb, low-fat, high-fat or juice diet) trick us into believing that this “latest” idea will work because of it’s crazy promises (Does “lose 50 lbs in 7 days” sound familiar?).
DIET RESTRICTIONS CAN CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN
The low-carb diet tells us that all carbs are “the devil”, and that carbs are what have made us fat – while the high-carb diet tells us that fats have in fact made us fat, and that if we only eat carbs (carbo-loading) we will lose weight fast. And so it goes.
These extreme ideas can lead us to binge on one of the food groups and completely restrict another – does this really sound healthy?
You see, when we restrict ourselves from eating a certain food group, we are actually just depriving our bodies of nutrients that it needs – and then our bodies go into “freak out mode”.
While in “freak out mode”, the body will either hold onto nutrients that it already has (which means it will hold onto fat stores, because that is where nutrients are kept by the body) and you may not be able to lose any weight.
OR alternatively, the body use up all of its nutrient stores (and you will lose body fat) BUT as soon as you start eating that “evil” food group again that you previously cut out (for example: carbs), then it is possible to regain all of that weight again.
THE TRUTH ABOUT DIETS
Big companies and corporations spend millions (if not billions) of Dollars every year marketing fad diets and “weight-loss” products TO MAKE MORE MONEY! What I have learned (the hard way) is that they usually don’t care about the consumer (us) at all – it’s business, they are in it to make money.
What I have learned after years or trial-and-error, is that extreme diets are not the best way to go. They are difficult to follow, they are restrictive and they are not very healthy.
These types of diets (with all of their rules) are so tough to stick to (only drinking juice for 7 days, eating no carbs, eating no fats), and so what usually happens is that our dieting attempts fail… and then we feel like failures – which is not cool.
REASON 2 – Calories Count
Here is perhaps the BIGGEST reason why fad diets and extreme diets DON’T WORK – they often do not take calories into account!
For years, I would not even consider counting calories – and even now I don’t “count” them – but I have learned that being mindful of calories is one of the BIGGEST factors of weight-loss.
You see, weight-loss comes down to a simple little mathematical equation of calories in versus calories out. It’s that simple.
If you use up (or burn) more energy (calories) than what you consume (eat) in a day, then you will lose weight (burn body fat).
FATS VS. CARBS VS. CALORIES
Weight-loss doesn’t really have anything to do with fats versus carbs – in general.
Of course the ratio of fats, carbs and protein in the diet does affect health – short term and long term – but these food groups are NOT THE REASONS why we can’t lose weight. It’s all about calories.
I used to think that the idea of calorie counting was ridiculous and I thought it sounded so tedious – and so I wasn’t even willing to try it. Now I know that it’s just about how you approach calories (ie. you don’t have to actually “count” them).
After years of seeing no results from any of the diets that I had tried, I was desperate enough to try anything – and so I began counting calories (after an intervention from my GP, my mom and a good friend – and TONS of research on my part).
When I became more mindful of my daily calorie intake (eating carbs, fats and protein), I started to lose weight really fast.
However – after a month of counting calories, I realised that “counting” every calorie that I ate was no way to live at all… and so I came up with another plan.
I spent the next few months creating and developing the point system eating plan that I use today – it changed my life. Seriously.
You can check out my build-it-yourself point system eating plan, or I recommend doing some research online to see how many calories are in your fave foods (the foods that you eat every day).
Use this research as a guideline to create yourself a set daily eating plan – this will be so much easier than constantly trying to calculate how many calories you have eaten (this can be exhausting). For example (your eating plan could look like this) – oats for breakfast with banana slices and raw almonds, an egg salad for lunch with rye bread on the side, and grilled chicken for dinner with quinoa and steamed vegetables.
I don’t always eat exactly the same thing every single day, and so I love using my point system eating plan.
REASON 3 – No Balance
The third reason that fad diets and extreme diets don’t work, is that they are not balanced.
WHAT DOES BALANCED MEAN?
A balanced diet simply means that it contains carbs, fats and protein – because they are all essential for the body and they are all healthy.
The body NEEDS carbs, fats and protein every single day to function properly and to be healthy – even if we are trying to lose weight. We need to eat all of these 3 food groups every day.
When we eat a balanced diet – our weight-loss is sustainable, we have more energy physically, we feel better mentally & emotionally and we are able to feel fuller for longer after we eat. A balanced diet can also help to boost the metabolism.
THE BALANCED DIET: WHAT TO EAT?
CARBS: Eat whole, unprocessed carbs like brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetables, fruit, berries, etc.
FATS: Eat healthy fats such as avocado, cold-pressed oils, nuts, seeds, coconut full cream dairy (if you don’t have allergies), etc.
PROTEIN: Eat good protein such as nuts, seeds, free-ranged eggs, legumes, good quality lean cuts of meat and wild caught fish.
SO WHAT IS THE CONCLUSION?
How do you get the results you want?
The formula for fast and healthy weight-loss is simple – be mindful of calories (no need to be obsessive) while following a balanced diet (that contains good carbs, healthy fats and protein), drink enough water… and also be sure to stay active!
Here’s an example of a healthy 3 day eating plan for weight-loss that you can download here on my blog. I’m currently giving it away for FREE, but won’t always be – so make sure you grab a copy!
Liezl Jayne xo
Photos and images by Liezl Jayne for liezljayne.com – Photo of Liezl Jayne by Rozanne Leigh – for liezljayne.com