The term yo-yo dieting is a popular way of describing the vicious cycle of dieting. The dogmatic and mechanical action of following a list of rules that cause deprivation and hunger is hardly a long-term solution.
There is also scientific evidence to suggest that when you diet, your body changes hormonally and physiologically. It goes into ‘starvation mode’ where the food that you eat is used more efficiently, then after quitting the diet, the body is programmed to store fat more readily. It is natures way of making adjustments in case of another semi-starvation period in the future.
If you are focusing on keeping calorie intake low, but are eating white carbohydrates, you will experience intense hunger and cravings
Temporary artificial diets do not solve the reasons why you are fat in the first place. If you eat because of unresolved emotional problems, lifestyle stresses, or false beliefs then you are really punishing yourself by also starving yourself.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!
Stop punishing yourself.
The main current throughout this book is that the fast food companies or your gluttonous friends aren’t the main problem.
The problem lies in your brain, your self-limiting or erroneous beliefs, your unresolved issues, the compounding effects of bad choices and bad decision making. If you were to honestly analyze the way you think, the way you act and the choices you make, then you would have to make changes in your life to replace temptations and stressors with positive influences and environments. After this, you would have to educate yourself on psychology, nutrition or whatever your weak areas are. Then create goals, not just weight loss goals but goals in every area of your life you will probably lose the excess weight and never need to think about dieting ever again.
That might sound like a tall order. You might be thinking: “It is easy for you to say but … ”
Put more simply:
- Use the ideas in this book to start to identify the problem set that is unique to you.
- Learn about the reasons and the solutions through new information.
- Then put that information into practice.
All I am really talking about is identifying the real problems and coming up with strategies and solutions that solve these problems
Semi-starvation does not solve any problems, it is creating additional problems. This is why most people who diet end up even larger than before.
I bet that if you were to interview people at random, the people who had tried to diet the most would also be the fattest. If you asked an average slim person how often they diet I expect that the most likely answer would be never!
A morbidly obese person would probably say that they have dieted 10 or 20 times! I haven’t researched, I am not planning to, but I am making a point.
If diets worked there wouldn’t be any fat people! If fat loss pills worked there also wouldn’t be any fat people! OK maybe a few that REALLY think that fat is beautiful. Then we could argue whether they were sane….
There are a handful of diets that seem to have far more success than traditional calorie control methods
The caveman/Paleo diet, the low-carb, slow-carb or Atkins diets seem to work for many people. The reason these diets work is that they get to the root of the main reason why people are fat.
These diets promote fresh organic fruits and vegetables, nuts and organic meat.
Evolutionary speaking, it is only recently that we started to eat lots of sugar, grains and cereals. Our bodies DNA isn’t accustomed to eat pasta, bread, pastries and so on. The numbers of lactose or gluten intolerant people are rising.
Diabetes is on the rise because these sugars, grains and cereals cause chaos with our blood sugar, hormone balance and the associated imbalances with insulin levels. ‘White carbs’ are associated with digestive and immune issues.
The Atkins diet recommends that you avoid carbs altogether. That is hard to sustain. My advice is to keep carbs to a minimum, especially if they make up the bulk of your food intake at the moment.
I personally studied these diets focused on reducing or eliminating carbs and now stay mindful of the principles and lessons.
Just as with other posts on this topic.
Once you identify a real reason for your obesity, then learn about it, you can modify your choices
For example, if you know that your job makes you miserable; which makes you less interested in your overall sense of well being; you can start to retrain, or learn about a new direction.
If you realize that it is not your ‘bones fault’, or your ‘genetics fault’, it gives you the strength of knowing that you have regained an element of control over your life. Knowing that eating fat is not the problem, but carbohydrates is, is a huge step forward.
If you eliminate carbs entirely you will see dramatic weight loss. I haven’t done this because I heard stories about bad breath, low energy levels and it seemed a little untested. I tried the Slow Carb diet and got immediate measurable results, I didn’t feel hungry and I could feel myself getting healthier and slimmer.
Now, for the long-term I simply keep my carbs to a minimum
I enjoy certain foods like a few chunks of high cacao chocolate. What I do is swap beans for rice, bread, pasta or potatoes on most meals. If I decide to eat a whole chocolate bar or a couple of slices of pizza I don’t beat myself up about it. If you have eaten 2 healthy meals in a day and then one that is unhealthy (but in a small portion), you won’t put on weight.
If you are in a hurry to lose weight quickly, then I recommend the slow carb diet. It works really well, and apparently it works for everyone. After a few months I advise just factoring in the principles of the diet into every day life.
So, I don’t know if anyone has ever stayed on a weight loss diet on a permanent basis, but I guess that it would be hard to sustain. The diets that are closer to the diet utopia (that doesn’t exist) are the ones that tell you to avoid sugar, carbs, and processed food. Just like our ancestors did for a very long time.
As a rule of thumb, eat more plants and animals
Eat less sugar, grain and cereal products, and chemical laden processed foods.