Why don’t “diets” work?

This post was inspired by my recent Netflix documentary binge, if you’re interested check out “Hungry for Change”, “Fed Up”  and “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead”.

 Here’s the problem, the word diet doesn’t mean what it SHOULD mean.

The word diet should describe what a living thing habitually eats to sustain a healthful life. What it means at the moment, and perhaps for the past 30-40 years, is a temporary fix to lose weight or “detox” by restricting calories and/or removing food groups, resulting in misery, the weight you lost piles back on and dissatisfaction in yourself. The problem is, a “diet” as we mean today, has failure built into it. 

You could probably walk past a café every other day and see the pastries and not bat an eyelid, but it’s Monday morning (always day 1 of a new diet) and now you simply can’t resist. Why is that? As soon as you say “I’m on a diet” to your brain, you feel deprived of the things you know “you can’t have” according to the newest diet fix you’re on and now you want it even more! It’s not that you lack the willpower or motivation. It’s not your fault, it’s human nature.

Decisions, decisions….

Quite a few diets will work to get some weight off, TEMPORARILY. However, it is far harder to keep the weight off. Nobody commits to a “diet” forever. We all know it’s temporary going into it. So if we want long-term results, why are we using a short-term fix? It really doesn’t make any sense.

So here’s my tips to beat the “dieting” trap. If you are genuinely interested in being a healthier version of yourself or want to lose weight through diet (what the word ORIGINALLY meant) and exercise, it’s a long-term commitment. It’s about creating healthier habits, and consistently applying them everyday. It’s not about being perfect 24/7, but doing your best every day. Simply start by increasing how much of the healthier stuff you’re eating on a day-to-day basis. There isn’t one person who doesn’t know that fruit and vegetables are better for them than a bar of chocolate and a packet of chips. Everyone knows what makes their body feel better and what doesn’t.

Eventually, the better you feel living a healthier lifestyle, the craving for junk food will subside, because you’re going to feel too good eating better and exercising. Get your brain on board! They can be your biggest friend or foe when it comes to making lifestyle changes, you’re not on a “diet”, you’re just adding in a few more greens today and going for a walk. No fat blasters, or diet pills, or grapefruit only this weekend, just simple things.

Dietitian-to-be, out.


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