I thought about titling this article – What’s a Diet? But then I figured that, the title doesn’t really insinuate that I’m giving you what you want – The answer of course…
However before I can tell you what I think is the only way to go about this, first we must breakdown what doesn’t work.
An important question to ask is…
If a particular ‘diet’ results in someone losing weight but then putting it back on, was it ever a ‘good diet’?
It’s a complex question which could be answered in a very complex way but the quick answer is no. If the maintenance phase after the weight loss wasn’t successful then it suggests that the principles put in place were not sustainable, thus not a good diet.
What does sustainable mean? Well the dictionary definition is…
“The degree to which a process or enterprise is able to be maintained or continued while avoiding the long-term depletion of natural resources.”
Although this definition is more applicable to natural resources if we amend that to our context, it would probably read something along the lines of…
“The degree to which the chosen diet is able to be maintained or continued while avoiding the long-term regain of weight.”
Let’s take the shake, detox teas/coffees, fat loss pills and clump them together and review whether or not it is likely we can create sustainable results long-term with the implementation of these types of diets.
The question to do this is something along the lines of…
Can you see yourself having a diet forever that consists mainly of shakes, pills, laxative teas/coffees or similar?
The answer is obviously no.
Another way of asking this question and maybe a slightly better way…
Would you give this type of diet to your child or your dog?
It’s an even bigger no.
Therefore, using this level of questioning we can identify that these methods are pretty damn stupid. We should identify though that people opt for these diets because they are sold to us as the ‘quick-fix’ which these days is all we look for.
We can order a new phone at 6pm in the evening on the internet and a day later be uploading selfies from it onto Instagram. We can order a takeaway that uses the stored data on your phone to not only remember your favourite takeaway but your card details too. You could probably do it with 10-15 touches on your phone screen.
We want everything now, because the world is moving at that pace in a technology sense. The problem is, we cannot treat our body like a piece of technology that has the ability to do the same thing. We are a product of millions of years of evolution. Unfortunately we cannot order our new physique at the click of a button like we can our takeaway of choice.
The forgotten things of before this technological revolution are missing in a lot of todays quick-fix promises. We are missing conscientiousness, hard work, dedication because we rely so heavily on technology, our brains and capacity to DoTheWork is reducing.
However the technology will probably never arrive to DoTheWork for us in a weight loss sense.
To recap, we have established that the diet we choose must be sustainable and that to make a success of it we must DoTheWork, it’s not just a next day delivery thing, it’s a months and years of dedication kind of thing. Doesn’t sound as sexy does it?
There is only one fundamental thing that we must achieve in order to achieve weight loss, or fat loss more accurately. This is the calorie deficit. Don’t worry this is not however another blog on explaining that. It is however just important to remember that whichever option you choose, that is why it works. So sorry Keto people, it’s not superior. Sorry slimming clubs, it’s not superior. Sorry intermittent fasters, it’s not superior. They all work due to the calorie deficit.
Why do people lose weight then pile it back on?
I’ve heard somewhere that the average time it takes to regain the lost weight from a diet is 6 months. That is a startling statistic if true. All that effort undone. But why?
The reason is simply down to the fact that the chosen strategy was not right for them to achieve sustainable results. Remember we said that to be sustainable we must be able to maintain it for a long period of time. Therefore if we regain it means that the chosen diet was not in fact sustainable.
The underlying reason that the weight comes back is down to years of habits and behaviours that led to them being overweight in the first place. The diet chosen was merely a circuit breaker that they maintained only for a short period of time before returning to previous habits and behaviours that have been built up for years and years, in some cases decades. You are not going to un-do years of habits in a few months. Period.
It’s not about choosing a diet based on a short-term outcome. It has be to about making changes to your lifestyle that encourage long-term change. It’s about the person that you have to become. You cannot just wear the fancy dress for a few months and revert back. For you to change for good, you must change your habits and behaviours.
It has been said that over 40% of our daily decisions are automated. Have you ever wondered how you managed to get to work in the morning without thinking about it, or more topically how the biscuit ended up in your hand, or maybe why you always crave something sweet after your evening meal. That is your brain doing it’s best to make things easy for you.
Your brain doesn’t know whether or not a habit you have is positive or negative towards your goal, it just knows that it wants to be as efficient as possible for you and therefore identifies triggers from previous behaviour that will automate your future behaviour.
Think about how when you first learned to drive you had to think about everything… Now you can probably speak on handsfree, listen to a podcast, maybe even eat your breakfast as you are on the commute to work which has also been ingrained in your brain – no need to think about the route.
Habits are damn powerful and they require a lot of conscious thought and planning in order to breakdown and rebuild them.
Still think a shake diet is the answer?
Still think fat loss teas will do the trick?
Here’s the nugget I want you to take away from this…
Until you are willing to change your habits and behaviours without the requirement for an external quick-fix, you will stay exactly the same. Maybe you will yo-yo up and down like the typical yo-yo dieter in the office,
“I start Monday, comes to mind.”Whilst he/she gobbles down another biscuit.
The first thing you must do is this…
You must admit to yourself what you did to get where you are now.
You must admit to yourself that your current habits and behaviours will take more than a few shakes or laxative teas to change them.
To summarise, it’s not the diet that you should be concerned about, that’s a small portion of what needs to happen. Your habits and behaviour built up over a period of years are holding you back from achieving those goals that seem so far away.
So in reference to the title of the blog
What’s the only diet that works?
The one that you can create sustainability with, long after the weight loss has been achieved. The one that is a result of the small changes in your habits and behaviour over time.
Can you do that on your own?
The odds are heavily stacked against you.
With my help?
The odds are in your favour like never before.
If you are willing to DoTheWork and want to achieve the results of your dreams…