Do you have your 2014 New Year’s Resolution figured out yet? Are you going start ANOTHER diet with the hope to lose weight, lose fat, and get in shape?
How many years now have you had this as your New Year’s Resolution? How have those resolutions ended? Did you lose any weight, burn any fat, get in better shape?
Many of you may have had some early success and lost a pound or 3 in January. But by the end of February, those pounds were back, and by the end of the year, they had invited some friends to stay over!
“But this year is going to be different!”
Didn’t you say that last year? And the year before that?
What you have to understand is that your failed diets aren’t your fault. Diets Don’t Work. You know it. I know it. Science has proven it.
Check out the results from one diet studied by UCLA:
“One study of dieting obese patients followed them for varying lengths of time. Among those who were followed for fewer than two years, 23 percent gained back more weight than they had lost, while of those who were followed for at least two years, 83 percent gained back more weight than they had lost, Mann said. One study found that 50 percent of dieters weighed more than 11 pounds over their starting weight five years after the diet, she said.”
They summarized the study by saying people are better off not even bothering to diet in the first place. Check out this one quote from the article: “”one of the best predictors of weight gain over the four years was having lost weight on a diet at some point during the years before the study started,” Basically, their research found that people who diet generally gain more than people who don’t diet over a 4 year period!
A couple years back, I was in a situation similar to most 40 year women my age. I was active, lean and healthy in my university days, but then I graduated and life happened. I wasn’t playing sports any more. I wasn’t going to the gym as much. I was busy with work and family…
Year after year, I gained a pound or 2 or 5. It was a slow transition and I barely noticed it (or at least refused to acknowledge it). Same with my increasing levels of lethargy and fatigue. Eventually though, enough was enough, and like so many people I tried a few different diets. I tried “watching what I eat” first. That had NO EFFECT at all.
Then I tried Weight Watchers, but I was terrible at keeping track of my points and that plan barely lasted a week.
So my husband and I went on the Atkins Diet. My husband LOVED that diet! All he ate was bacon. He was in heaven. And he lost a lot of weight fast. I wasn’t quite as impressed. I was bloated all the time and low on energy. I was happy though because I did lose some weight. But I couldn’t live on a diet like that and my husband was worried about his high cholesterol, so after a few weeks we went back to the “watching what we eat” diet.
I think he kept the weight off for close to 3 months, but my weight came back in about 6 weeks. And as the UCLA study reported, a year later we were both heavier than our starting weights.
Back then, we weren’t doing the right research and we still believed that there wouldn’t be so many diets out there if they didn’t work. But which diet was best?
We researched the high protein diets (Atkins, South Beach, Dukan) and learned that these diets were effective in short term weight loss. But there were health risks associated with high cholesterol and a lack of micronutrient nutrition. This wasn’t a diet that you would want to stay with for very long.
Then we looked at the low calorie diets (Weight Watchers, Raw Food, Cabbage Soup Diet). It depended upon how “low” the calorie count was to determine how fast the weight loss was. But with many of these diets the weight you lost was muscle based and not from fat. There were also nutrition deficiencies in some, and too much tracking and too much hunger with the others.
So we checked out some of the Lifestyle Diets (Oz Diet, Vegan Diet, DASH Diet). We liked this category best, but found the weight loss to either be too slow, or the diet too complicated to follow.
Finally there were the Meal Replacement Diets (Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Slim Fast) and found these to a) basically not work at all and b) be super expensive paying for meals that tasted like cardboard. Additionally there are questions regarding where the meal replacement ingredients are sourced and how healthy they ultimately are.
Once we learned for ourselves that diets didn’t work, then we started researching the studies, like the UCLA one, that clearly prove that all diets ultimately fail.
That was unacceptable to us. Sure most people in North America are obese, but not everyone is. Plus there are still lean people in other countries that have access to food.
So what was the “secret”? Well it’s certainly not any of those “Weight Loss Secrets” that appear on my Facebook ads. The “secret” is actually an understanding of nutrition and how your body works. Once you truly understand your body’s requirements and how to meet them, how to cleanse the toxins from your body that have you locked in a fat producing loop, and how to take advantage of your body’s own natural hormones, you’re off to the races.
The bottom line is, if it makes you feel better by “dieting” because you feel like you are being proactive, then go for it. But just know that you’ll just be spinning your wheels. You may lose weight, but you’ll ultimately gain it back, and the studies are saying you’ll probably gain more than you would had you not dieted at all!
So for this year’s New Year’s Resolution, if you truly want to lose weight, burn fat, improve your fitness and health, then resolve to understand your body and meet its needs. Do that and I guarantee you’ll achieve success that you never dreamed possible.
Stay tuned to my other articles for more pieces of the puzzle.