Are you trying to lose weight? If you are like most people, you have probably considered going on a diet. But did you know that going on a diet won’t actually help you lose weight? It’s surprising, but true! Let’s take a closer look at the reason why going on a diet won’t really help you with weight loss.
Diet vs. Lifestyle Change
A diet is a temporary change to your eating habits in an attempt to eat less and subsequently lose weight because of it. A diet will not help you lose weight.
A lifestyle change, on the other hand, will help you lose weight. A dietary lifestyle change means changing the way that you approach eating and food as a whole, rather than going on a temporary restrictive diet. A lifestyle change will help you lose weight.
Why Diets Fail
There are many reasons why diets fail and simply don’t work when it comes to long term weight loss. The following are the most common reasons why diets fail.
They are too restrictive
Many people find diets too restricted. Their diet may limit them to an exact amount of calories per day or require them to cut out entire food groups, such as eating no junk food, no treats, and so on. Restrictive diets are not very successful because after a while, people end up wanting to rebel against the restriction.
They don’t incorporate healthy living habits
Another reason why diets fail is that they don’t help you incorporate healthy living habits into your lifestyle. Instead, they encourage you to go on a radical temporary change that is difficult to keep up for long. For example, a diet that has you cutting out all junk food temporarily is going to be unsuccessful—whereas a healthy living habit such as limiting yourself to small portions of treats once or twice a week is much more sustainable.
You will feel tempted to “cheat”
A diet will make your feel tempted to cheat so that you can get a taste of your favorite foods. Cheating on your diet will likely lead to binge eating and other unhealthy habits, which are the exact opposite of what you want to happen when you’re trying to lose weight.
They can encourage all or nothing thinking
Diets are notorious for encouraging all or nothing thinking. This type of thinking leads to people dieting successfully for a short period of time, then “messing up” on their diet and deciding that since they already messed up, they might as well go all the way. For instance, you might have stopped eating fast food altogether on your diet; then one day you can’t help it and decide to get a fast food hamburger. After you eat the hamburger, you realize you’ve broken your diet—and decide to go all the way and eat tons more junk food afterwards.
Remember, a diet is not going to help you lose weight. But a lifestyle change which encourages you to make better choices can.