When most people decide to lose weight the first thing they usually think to do is find a diet to get on. For most people that means eating foods you don’t particularly like and eating meals and recipes that are time consuming or too difficult to follow for an extended period of time. It’s no wonder that most people recoil at the thought of dieting.
As such most people feel that diets don’t work. And to a large degree, they’re right. There are many reasons why diets don’t work.
First of all, very few diets teach healthy low-fat shopping, cooking, and dining-out strategies, and many offer unrealistic recommendations and encourage health-threatening restrictions.
Second, they usually don’t teach us the safest, most effective ways to exercise.
Third, they don’t teach us how to deal with our cravings and our desires.
Fourth, the reason why diets don’t work for most people who try them is because when you go on a low-calorie diet, your body thinks you are starving; it actually becomes more efficient at storing fat by slowing down your metabolism. When you stop this unrealistic eating plan, your metabolism is still slow and inefficient which causes you to gain the weight back faster, even though you may still be eating less than you were before you went on the diet.
Eventually, we become tired of the complexity, the hunger, the lack of flavour, the lack of flexibility, the lack of energy, and the feeling of deprivation. We quit our diets and gain back the weight we’ve lost; sometimes gaining more than we initially lost.
Now here’s where things go downhill. Every time we go on another diet of deprivation, the weight becomes more difficult to lose, and we become more frustrated and discouraged. Usually what happens next is that we eat more and exercise less, which causes ourselves more frustration, discouragement, even depression. That’s when we usually start telling ourselves, “Diets don’t work!” and “Why bother, I’ll just fail!”
Of course, we begin to blame ourselves for having no will power when what we really need is a workable plan that fits our needs and our personality – a lifestyle that we can live with for the rest of our lives.
So instead of giving up and instead of feeling guilt, let’s find a solution. For starters, the best thing you can do to improve your health and appearance is to begin a routine of daily exercise. It’s no secret that clients of bariatric surgery clinics are prescribed an hour of exercise a day before they can be candidates of surgery. What often happens is that some of those clients end up losing so much weight that they decline the surgery.
As for what kind of exercise you do, it doesn’t matter that much. Just intense activity, which can be anything from walking, biking, swimming, to even house cleaning, can work wonders.
But what about your eating habits? You can start off with reducing your calorie intake by 100 calories. Maybe that’s drinking one less can of pop or having non-fat milk in your coffee in lieu of cream. You could reduce your intake of dairy; eat fruit instead of high calorie snack foods. Start looking for substitutes and build from there.