Why Diets Don’t Work
You probably know someone right now who is on a special diet. Maybe it’s Keto. Maybe it’s Whole30, or Paleo, or Carnivore, Zone, Intermittent Fasting, counting your macros, or one of the other dozens of diet plans out there. You’ve probably tried something like this yourself!
But how many people do you know who have truly stuck with one of these diets for more than a few months? A year? Five years?
The main problem with these diets is that they are unsustainable for the long term.
Most diets I mentioned above require specific restrictions of many types of common foods. Some require that you weigh & measure all your food. Others require eating only during specific time windows in the day.
Many people do see some success with these diets in the short term, because all those restrictions usually do help people reduce their caloric intake. The frustrating part is many dieters report that they end up back where they started before long. This leads to feelings of guilt and shame.
They started out strong! What happened? Are they failures? Was the diet the wrong one?
If you’re having to make constant decisions and evaluations about everything you’re eating every day, it is not sustainable. The average person doesn’t need to put their eating habits under a microscope and get down to the granular level. They need to start with a birds-eye view, and slowly get more specific over time. Our willpower is a finite resource — most folks just simply can’t keep up with restrictive diets for more than a few months at most. We get burned out, and rebound back. Hard.
Do you want good results that come quickly, but fade away just as fast?
Or would you rather have great results that might take a little more time, but stay with you for life?
Changing your nutrition habits is a marathon, not a sprint.
If you take off from the starting line and hit a personal best for your 1 mile time, it won’t be long before you end up laying down on the side of the road too exhausted to continue. It’ll be easier to walk back to the starting line and give up, than to keep going forward.
If you start slow, build momentum and confidence over time, and keep the long game in mind, you’re far more likely to finish the race. Plus, the journey itself is so much more enjoyable!
How do you get started, if you want to make positive changes to your eating habits for the long haul? Here’s our three simple steps:
- Write down which situations you tend to make poor eating decisions. For example, maybe you eat pretty well at home, but you usually go out for fast food for lunch at work.
- Decide on one simple, straightforward thing to improve that situation. Don’t worry about it being perfect — we just need it to be a little better to start. For the lunchtime fast food eater, could you start bringing your lunch from home once a week? Or start bringing a piece of fruit or some veggies to supplement your fast food lunch a few times a week? Drink water instead of soda with a couple of those meals?
- Keep doing the new habit you picked in step 2 until it feels easy to keep doing without much thought. Then go back to step 1, find a new area to improve, and keep repeating!
You don’t need a better diet. You need better habits. Better habits take time, but once they’re engrained, you no longer have to devote much attention to them to continue on. They go on autopilot, so you can devote your attention to the next thing.
Day by day, week by week we can lay the foundation to an amazing future for our health. With a few thoughtful choices each month, you’ll be amazed where you can end up a year from now with this method.
This is how we work with our nutrition clients. We don’t do meal plans, macros, or tell exactly what to eat for every meal of every day. We help you identify your biggest opportunities, and find ways to improve consistently over time.
What eating habits do you struggle with the most? We’d love to hear!
If you’re ready to start building better habits, let’s chat! We current have 3 spots open in our nutrition coaching program! Sign up for a Free Intro here to learn more.