A diet is a temporary change in eating habits to reach a certain weight goal. It’s usually something that cannot be sustained and the dietary demands are typically unrealistic. How many people do you know of that have been on a diet and are still on that diet? Probably close to none. This is because the word “diet” panics people. It indicates a dreaded, boring and restricted regime that causes more frustration than success. Let’s take a look at what happens when we attempt a diet. If you’ve ever been on a diet, you might recognize these ways of thinking:

All or none way of thinking: This is when you slip up on your diet and eat the hell out of those potato chips you’ve been eying in your cabinet. I bet you couldn’t even enjoy eating them because all you were thinking was “I shouldn’t be doing this.” Then the next day you wake up feeling like you’ve completely sabotaged all the progress you’ve made so you mind as well go grab a donut and large coffee extra-extra. It then becomes a justification for going back to your old ways and then you’re back to square one. Well cut it out! If you splurge a little it’s not the end of the world. Tomorrow is a new day and you can get back to your healthy eating habits.

We always want what we can’t have: Going off my last point, it is healthy to have a treat (in moderation of course) once in a while. Depriving ourselves from our favorite foods is the worst thing we can do because we always want what we can’t have. Eventually we will give in and it won’t just be a few handfuls of chips anymore. Also, don’t think of your treat as a reward for eating well because that just makes us sound like were dogs. You’re having a treat because you can and because if you don’t, that bag of chips you’ve been staring at for two weeks will be gone in 5 minutes.

We diet with an end in mind: A lot of people go on these crash diets for some sort of event. Then after that event they go on a binging spree. It becomes this rollercoaster of dieting because there are always going to be events that we want to look our best for. Also, our bodies do not like this yo-yoing of weight changes; it likes to stay at a point of homeostasis. If you mess with it, it will mess with you causing all sorts of digestion issues. Save yourself the hassle.

You hate everyone that’s not on your diet: You develop this hatred for other peoples eating habits and you convince yourself your diet is the end all be all. Don’t be that person that sits at the dinner table with a puss face, critiquing everyone else’s meal because you’re in the corner heating up your 3 by 3 Jenny Craig meatloaf. No one told you to eat that frozen crap.

You spend an arm and a leg: Many of these crash diets cost a lot of money. I feel bad because I keep shitting on Jenny Craig but it costs a FORTUNE to buy meals week after week. I use the example of Jenny Craig because I actually had a friend that came on vacation with me, brought her Jenny Craig food with her and it ended up sitting in the fridge to go to waste. But guess what, there is a solution to this madness! Stop being lazy and cook your own food. It will taste better and you will at least save an arm.

I’m sure there are a ton more reasons that I could rant about of why going on a diet is pointless and discouraging but I’ll leave that up to you to contemplate. But before I end this rant I have to give you an alternative to dieting. So here it is:

Make a lifestyle change. I know that sounds so cliché but it will save you a lot of disappointment and head ache. The difference between a diet and a lifestyle change is that with a lifestyle change, you aren’t restricted to foods you love and you are actually eating real food. You aren’t consuming packaged frozen meals or drinking liquid for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s pretty simple actually; eat food with nutritional value such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, and fish. Your body is a machine, it needs energy to function. Feed it with high sodium, processed crap and it will make you feel like processed crap. Fill your body with fresh, nutrient dense, REAL food, and it will make you feel energetic and fresh.

The purpose of a lifestyle change is to make it a habit, not a forced and temporary change. It may be a slower process of weight loss but it will be sustainable and enjoyable. It’s all about making healthier choices and changes. Portion out your foods, buy fresh foods that have a limited expiration date (less processed), and shop the perimeter of the grocery stores. Just eat real food and enjoy every bite of it! Mother Nature has given us many delicious foods, so appreciate them.

Last note- Don’t get me wrong, many people have success losing weight on diets but what happens when you stop the diet and go back to your old ways? Are you going to bring your Jenny Craig meals on vacation? So unless you plan on eating Special K cereal and bars forever I suggest you give this life style change a whirl.



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