This episode is a little controversial as we are going to dive into the topic of DIETS! Do they work? Should you do one? And the answer is YES, they do work. Of course, diets work. You can easily jump onto the internet and find hundreds of thousands of testimonials and transformation pics from people who have proved that diets do in fact work.
But the reason most of us fall short when it comes to following a specific diet like Paleo, Keto, Octavia, Weight Watchers, etc. is that we expect it to be our end-all, be-all solution to health and happiness. Most people approach a diet with this fixed mindset of “once I lose X pounds, I’ll be happy” and they rely on the diet and scale to do that for them.
I think if we took a step back and started looking at diets with more of an open mind and eyes, that they could most certainly work to our advantage. Diets can be helpful if you use them as a tool rather than your absolute solution. Most diets are super restrictive and rigid which makes it impossible to stick to for the long-term, which is why most people are constantly on and off the diet roller coaster. But instead of blaming the diet, we put the blame on ourselves for “failing” at it and not being consistent enough or not having the willpower to stick to it, etc.
Most diets do work for the short-term because for the short-term it can be easy to stick to a lot of rules but in the long run…we are human and need to live our lives and need to figure out how to do so without being so restrictive and rigid. And yet, I totally understand the desire to start a diet even if it does feel restrictive because when you’re in a place of not knowing where or how to get started, diets provide guidelines and structure that feel helpful. They tell you what to do, and take the guesswork out of the equation for you. I get that.
So when I talk about using a diet tool, what I mean is go in with an open mind. Don’t just buy some random meal plan online but instead, do the research – join a community, look for recipes before deciding whether or not this might work for you. Take the people within your household into consideration. Are you going on this diet alone? If not, how will you handle family dinner time? Can the recipes within this diet easily be modified for others? Do the meals within this new diet structure require a lot of prep and cook time? If so, does that work for your lifestyle?
These are all questions you should be taking into consideration before deciding on whether a particular diet will be beneficial for you.
And if you still decided to go the route of following a fad diet, my number one piece of advice is to….LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Take notes. How are you truly feeling both physically and mentally? We tend to use the scale as our one deciding factor on whether or not a diet is “working” but what you should really be looking for are things like…
How are you sleeping at night?
Do you have more or less energy?
What is your hunger level throughout the day?
Have your cravings decreased?
And based on that information, you should be tweaking your diet to make it work for you in the long term. What are some of the things that are feeling good for you, and easy to maintain with this particular diet? And what are some of the things that you are struggling with and why?
I’ll leave you with a personal example, about 4 years ago I tried my hands at the Keto Diet. I did it for a solid three months and felt great…more energy and leaner. However, although great results for the short-term I knew that this diet would not align with my lifestyle for the long term because quite frankly, I’m not willing to give up things like pizza, popcorn and beer (just to name a few) forever in order to stay a little leaner. However, I did learn that I most certainly do feel better on a lower carb, higher fat diet and continue to eat that way now 80% of the time. Is it Keto? NO. But it did help me find a more balanced “diet” that feels good for me while also fitting with my lifestyle. Yes. And, that’s the goal. I didn’t fail at the Keto diet. I learned from it.
If you do decide to go the route of following a fad diet, I hope you find this to be insightful. But if you’ve had enough with the diet roller coaster and need help finding a way of eating that feels good to you, I would love to help! You can contact me via my website, at www.fit-with-Nina.com or feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.