Is it true diets don’t work?
That question happens to be on My Favorite 15 Fitness FAQs list. I chose to start with this one because I find it fundamental. We are what we eat. Having an understanding of nutrition is pretty important. Here are just a few benefits of healthy eating:
- You will have better energy levels.
- You will have a better shot at reaching your fitness goals.
- It will enhance your mood.
Most of us intuitively know that eating well can only be beneficial. The problem is that the internet and other media abound with quick fixes promising a slim waist, toned legs and ultimately a leg up in the dating scene. Do these diets really work? Are they worth our money and time?
That is what I’ll tackle in this post. There is quite a lot of skepticism when it comes to dieting. Legitimate skepticism. At the end of the day, a diet, free or not is a product and all products are shown under a certain light…
Remember: I am not an expert in nutrition. These are nothing but my views. Like I say in my About Page, I let you in on what worked for ME and others around me.
Diets are quick fixes. They promise results an a timely manner. That’s what we want anyway, right? Life is fast paced and we want our results quickly. This urgency has us picking diets without really doing thourough research, though. There are a few things we need to consider when choosing a diet because a diet is rarely one size fits all.
Here’s what you need to consider:
A diet should be in line with your lifestyle. If you work from home it’s easier to have a strict diet. Your fridge and pantry are never too far away. Unfortunetly for most of us though, strict diets are difficult to fit into our lives. I tried a paleo diet once. I was really motivated the first few days. I found that motivation waning more and more because if I ever forgot my lunch at home, finding meals that fit into the paleo diet was a hassel.
Depending on what your routine/schedule and habits are, you may want to choose one diet more than another.
How far away you are from your goal
Any honest trainer will tell you that when it comes comes to healthy weight loss, you can expect 1-1,5 lbs per week. Obviously, that measure is an approximation. Depending on sex, genetics and many other factors, results may vary.
What’s important to understand is that aiming to loose 30 lbs in 2 months is an unrealistic goal. We should roughly know how far away we are from our goal and act accordingly. Choosing a very restrictive diet because we want to accelerate fat loss isn’t necessarily a good decision. Weight loss is more of a marathon than a race. Being too restrictive in our calories doesn’t get us any closer to our goals.
What your goal really is
We think of fat loss in terms of numbers because numbers are acurate measures of success. However, what we really want is to be happy with what we see in the mirror. To the naked eye our bodies are a mixture of muscle, fat and water (forgive me for over simplifying). We’re stuck in this weight loss mentality, but what we really want is to:
- Loose fat
- Gain muscle (the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest)
That doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a change in our lifestyle.
If our goal is to look good on the beach for our trip to the Bahamas in two months, then, depending on our current state, we might find it okay to try that 6-8 week diet that caught our eye. But if we want to look and be healthy on a regular basis, chasing diet after diet might not be the answer. Perhaps understanding the fundamentals of eating and changing our lifestyle will be more rewarding.
The goal isn’t the destination. The process, the journey, those are the goals. Focusing on how far away we are from our goals can easily discourage us. Enjoying the process makes life so uch more interesting.