I spent most of my life on a diet. I was miserable. I was also very fat. I lived in a world of food obsession, always “on” or “off” and never feeling like I had control over food. I never felt amazing. I was always stressed.
Can you lose weight on a diet? Sure! There are hundreds of ways to lose weight. But for most of us, losing weight isn’t the goal. We want to lose FAT MASS (not just body weight) and most importantly, we want to keep it off. Bonus points if we enjoy the process (which is totally possible and a huge part of being able to keep the fat off!)
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One of the primary reasons diets don’t work (in the long term) is that they emphasize RULES, not TOOLS. The truth is, we live in a world where we kinda like to be told what to do. I can’t tell you how many emails I get each week from someone requesting a shopping list or meal plan.
I think that’s a problem. There’s a reason I don’t provide those things. Could I? Sure! Could I monetize the heck out of them? Absolutely! But they keep us mindless.
Diets & their prescribed rules prevent us from really paying attention our bodies and that’s where change and improvements come from: not in blindly following someone else’s guidelines but leaning in to what works for us, what makes us feel great, and what our bodies respond to.
When we’re always looking to someone else’s rules, there will always be another distraction a second a way, tempting us with a new set of rules and a fresh new start. Someone will always have a new set of rules. This approach has massive built in distractions via the next “shiny thing”.
There’s no restarting when we’re looking for tools to help us understand our bodies better.
You don’t need to restart. You just need to pay attention.
Diets foster an all-or-nothing mindset. With dieting, you perceive that you’re either on the wagon or off the wagon. Dude, there is no damn wagon. And our quest in life isn’t to be “on” all the time. The goal, as I see it, is to feel amazing every day. I know that I can feel amazing while having a couple glasses of wine in a week and enjoying a cupcake every now and again. That’s not a diet. That’s the quest to feel amazing. No diet can prescribe rules that are as effective or as personalized as our own quest to feeling amazing.
Most diets emphasize some variation of “eat less, move more” which completely ignores the reality of how fat loss actually happens in our body. Fat loss is faciliated or prohibited based on hormonal signaling. These signals aren’t controlled by calories. These signals are controlled by what, when & how much you eat. Most importantly: they are different for every single one of us. When I’m working with my clients, I help them understand their unique hormone signals and how to optimize them. We are all getting signals from our hormones every day (hunger, cravings, energy, mood, sleep, skin, etc) and we just have to learn how to work with our bodies instead of against them. Most dieting approaches do not teach us how to work with our bodies. Instead, they want us to blindly follow the rules.
There is so much more to why diets don’t work and I’ve gone into so much detail on how our bodies respond to the eat less move more approach as well as how to begin breaking the chains of dieting and creating a sustainable lifestyle that works for your body. For some of those detailed resources, check out these episodes of the Primal Potential podcast. If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know!