5 MORE Ways Diets Destroy Motivation (and How You Can Finally Win at Weight Loss)
Recently, I shared five ways diets actually work against you as you try to achieve your weight loss goals. But that was only the beginning: there are actually ten ways!
Before we explore these five additional diet traps, let me recap the first five: simply put, diets don’t work because 1) calorie restrictions shut down your metabolism, 2) diets are temporary solutions, 3) diets don’t focus on the reasons why you overeat, 4) people expect diets to fail from the get-go, and 5) dieting leaves you feeling hungry and deprived.
So, in spite of your best efforts, diets continue to conspire against you in surprising ways. (Don’t worry; there IS hope – more on that in a bit.) But to truly understand what you are up against, here are the rest of the reasons – excerpted from my e-book Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind – why you should stop dieting so you can finally win at weight loss:
Reason #6: Weighing Daily or Weekly is a Form of Self-Sabotage
It’s understandably tempting to weigh yourself frequently after starting a diet. We live in an instant gratification world, right? So we start a diet on Monday and first thing Tuesday morning take off our clothes and step on the scales. Nothing! Not an ounce lost. Or worse yet, we gain a pound or two! How can that be?
Your body is prone to natural fluctuations in weight due to many biological and nutritional factors. Different food combinations cause varying reactions in your body – and unpredictable variations in your weight. So if you weigh yourself daily or even weekly, you aren’t giving your body time to adjust to a new normal. And when you don’t see immediate results, your motivation to stay the course is destroyed. Why are you putting yourself through all this? you wonder.
Here’s some “farmer wisdom”: If you plant a seed in the ground and come back the next day or even the next week, you might not see anything on the surface. “It’s a bad seed,” you think. Wrong! If you could look beneath the surface you would discover an amazing root system being established. This is the “foundation” of the future crop. Without it, the plant will blow away in the wind once it breaks the surface. But with a strong foundation, the vitality and health of the plant is sustainable. The same is true for weight loss. Where typical diets fail again and again, with the solid foundation of my Shurr ! Success system for becoming Thinner and Happier, the roots for your weight loss success will become stronger – and so will you!
Reason #7: When it Comes to Exercise, “No Pain, No Gain,” Right? Wrong!
The desire to avoid pain is a major trigger in causing people to eat – and overeat – the wrong foods. “Comfort foods” provide temporary relief from pain (actual or perceived) or escape from the stresses of life. This is a false escape, of course. Nonetheless, when exercise accompanies dieting, as most diets recommend, it is common for the dieter to overdo the exercise part of the equation. A harder workout should yield better, faster results, you think. If it hurts, it must be working, you think. If I’m not in pain, I’m not doing it right, you think!
But here is how this combination of diet and exercise can fail you in a critical way: by overdoing it early, you will become even more frustrated by the lack of immediate results. This, in turn, will destroy your motivation and send you diving for your comfort foods as a way to cope with the frustration and physical pain.
So, when it comes to exercising, less is more in the beginning. And aerobic exercise is best, such as a 20 minute daily walk that gets your heart beating faster than normal. This will help get your body burning fat faster. It can be easy, fun and effective. (Of course, check with your physician before starting any new or expanded exercise regimen.)
Reason #8: Diet Programs Make You Dependent
Diets are, at best, temporary solutions. Eventually, the diet – which is designed for weight loss, not for sustaining a healthy weight – will end and you will return to your old ways of eating. If you encounter pressure and stress along the way you will return to what’s familiar even faster. Think of this as a “safety and security” factor. But did you know you can train your mind to revert to feelings of security, confidence and resourcefulness under pressure so you can experience more pleasure now and in the future? It’s true! Stay with me to learn more.
Reason #9: Diets Focus on Weight Loss, Not on Healthy Habits
As I mentioned above, diets are only concerned with weight loss, not on establishing a sustainable lifestyle for healthy weight maintenance. Your ultimate goal should be to engage in healthier behaviors that turn into healthy habits. Habits are sustainable because they are automatic. And by focusing on your healthy habits performance (the actions you take each day rather than how much weight you are – or are not – losing), you will transform your behaviors into habits and your habits into a healthier lifestyle. Once you’ve changed your behaviors, keep going! Don’t be like the miner who stopped digging 6 inches from reaching the gold. As you work toward your weight loss goal, find reward in the process, in the performance, in the new habits you are developing. Soon you will develop a healthy addiction to living a healthier life!
Reason #10: Diets Reinforce Mental Associations that Keep People Overweight
Diets cause people to become frustrated, to feel deprived, to waste money, to become extremely sore from over-exercising, and to feel “weak” due to reverting back to making poor choices under stress. In other words, dieting continually reinforces that losing weight is painful, while staying the same is more comfortable and easy. Weight loss and healthier living will be IMPOSSIBLE unless you REVERSE this mental conditioning. You must convince your mind that the true pain – MASSIVE pain – comes from staying the same. Think about it: is it really easier to stay fat? To hate the way you look? To feel exhausted all the time? To feel embarrassed by how your various body parts jiggle in public?
Again, a healthier mindset with more positive behaviors that become sustainable habits can be achieved, and YOU can achieve the weight loss you desire for healthier living!
A Better Way
So there you have it – five more reasons diets fail you! By following along this far you have already put yourself on the path to healthier living and sustainable body transformation. You can learn more from my Healthy Transformations blog here. And why not kick-start your healthier lifestyle with my e-book, Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind? And for even more information on how you can lose weight, click here or contact me at 317.579.7500.