Millions of people are dieting right now. Many of them will lose weight, but few will keep the weight off. In fact, a lot of them will regain more weight than they lost and end up heavier than when they started. Why does this happen? The biggest reason is because people view dieting as a temporary thing they have to endure “just until they lose the weight.”
The thinking goes something like this: “This dieting thing is hard! I can’t wait until I lose this weight and can go back to eating X, Y and Z.” Often, willpower runs out long before the goal weight is reached, so poor eating habits begin creeping back in little by little just a week or two after the diet has been started. There are two main problems here. The first is trying to follow a diet that is unsustainable, and the second is having this temporary mindset in the first place.
An unsustainable diet is any diet you can’t stick with for the rest of your life. Most diets you’ll find online and in books are unsustainable. That’s why they often have some time period in their title (“The 10-Day Detox Diet,” “The 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse,” “The Whole 30,” etc.). While these short-term diets may indeed be a good way to radically shift your way of eating in transition to a more permanent lifestyle change, few people ever go into them with that intention. Instead they read the title and think, “Great – only 10 days, I can do that!” And after the 10 days or 30 days are up, they return to their old, unhealthy eating habits and their bodies respond by quickly replacing any weight they’ve lost.
By beginning with this temporary mindset, we tend to talk ourselves into things we’d never even consider over the long term. Today my regular diet looks quite a bit like some of those healthier fad diets. I eat primarily whole plant foods; I never drink soda or other sweetened beverages; I honestly can’t remember the last time I stepped foot in a fast food restaurant; and I drink alcohol and eat desserts in moderation. But I didn’t just decide to do this all one day. I started by cutting out the “biggest offenders” in my diet – those foods and beverages that gave me nothing but a giant surplus of calories. I quit eating fast food and the worst processed foods (I used to have a thing for Marie Calendar’s pot pies) and I quit drinking soda. And I stuck with those habits for many months before I added another one or two things to the list. By making well-calculated decisions that I could live with permanently, I slowly but systematically lost all of the weight I wanted to lose over a period of years.
I share more about my own story in my book, Reboot Your Body: Unlocking the Genetic Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss. I also talk about the current science and what it says about the role the genetics play in weight gain and weight loss. (I don’t want to give away all the secrets here, but I can tell you that it’s very good news!). In the middle portion of the book, I share a step-by-step program that you can follow to lose all the weight you want to lose, and keep it off permanently. The last part gives you many practical tips and techniques you can use to fine-tune your diet and exercise habits to break through weight loss plateaus and accelerate the timeline for reaching your ultimate goal.
If you’re ready to break away from the cycle of temporary, fad diets and make a permanent change, pick up a copy of Reboot Your Body today.