3 Reasons Why Diets Suck for Weight Loss
So let’s talk about the #1 common misconception when it comes to eating for weight loss… dieting! (When I say dieting I mean a restrictive way of eating that is very low in calories, excludes certain food groups and honestly just makes you miserable when it comes to food.)
In our society it’s so common for a woman to go on a “diet” to lose weight. That’s just what you do right?!
Well yeah that’s the old skool way to weight loss that will actually make you gain back the weight and then some and it’s not a way of eating that can be sustained or enjoyed for life.
I don’t know about you but I want permanent results. I want to look and feel my best all year round. I want to eat in a way that makes me feel good. I want a healthy relationship with food. Diets can’t do that. Eating healthy in a balanced way does.
So I am going to share with you three reasons why diets suck and why you need to ditch them.
1. They wreck your metabolism
2. They are calorie focused versus nutrition focused
3. They don’t fit into your unique lifestyle
We all know having a faster metabolism is a good thing, especially for weight loss, but do you know why? Let me take it back to some basics.
Your basal metabolic rate accounts for about 70% of your total energy (calories) used on a daily basis. That’s a really big deal! Only about 30% of our total energy used on a daily basis comes from daily physical activity including our workouts.
So it’s obvious that metabolism plays a big role in weight loss. So we want it to function at it’s optimal potential.
Yet when you severely restrict our calories you send a signal to your body that you are in a destress state. That food is scare and that there is a famine.
When your body is in this state, it will try to preserve energy and hold on to fat. It’s just a natural survival mechanism that has helped us survive for years and years and years. It was very essential back in the day when food was seriously scarce but it’s not very helpful now a days when we have a unlimited supply of food available to us at all times.
And if that wasn’t enough, now that your body is in a starved state it will do whatever it takes to preserve energy which even means using muscle as it’s main source of energy and holding on to fat. It takes more calories to maintain muscle, so it makes sense from a survival point of view that less muscle equals less calories needed to survive. Fat is easier to upkeep and it also is a safety net for survival during a famine.
All this results in a slower metabolism.
dieting = starvation mode = losing muscle = holding on to fat = lower metabolism = less calories needed to survive and lose weight = harder to lose fat = easier to gain back weight and more
2. Diets are Calorie Focused vs Nutrition Focused
Diets that are based on restricting calories are not focused on the quality of food but rather just the calories.
So is a calorie really just a calorie?
Say I invite you over for dinner and I give you two 8 ounce glasses… one is filled with purified water and the other is filled with gasoline.I tell you.. drink both of them because 8 ounces is 8 ounces.
You would probably look at me like I am crazy.
We need to start thinking like this in terms of food. A packet of cookies that is 100 calories is not the same as apple that is 100 calories
Food is more than calories… it’s either supports us and provides our body with nutrition or it can wreck havoc.
This is why the calorie count is the last thing I read on a food label. I start with the ingredients first and then the macros.
Diets are more focused about the calorie count of a food vs how much nutrition that food will give you.
3. Diets are not realistic
Dieting is not a realistic approach to eating and it’s definitely not one you can sustain for a lifetime. It’s boring, restrictive and leaves little to no room to enjoy life. How realistic is it to drink two meal replacement shakes a day for the rest of your life or never enjoy a cupcake at a kid’s bday party or never have your favorite meal ever again? Doesn’t sound like a way of eating that I want to do for the rest of my life and sure as hell not one that is going to make me happy and feel good about food.
Bottom line is diets are a temporary sucky option for fat loss. You might lose weight but a-lot of that weight could be from your metabolism boosting muscles. Plus besides being miserable around food you are risking screwing up your metabolism in the process.
There is a better way and it starts by making the decision to start a healthy lifestyle vs a temporary quick fix solution like dieting.
It’s important to realize there is no quick fixes to health and permanent fat loss.