This is Why Diets Usually Fail
Summer is almost here, and that means the annual tradition of new diets and “get thin quick” schemes will be popping up everywhere like spring flowers.
If you’re like most dieters, each failed attempt to reach your goal and keep the weight off erodes your self-confidence and keeps you up late at night saying things to yourself that you wouldn’t dare utter to your best friend.
When it comes to new, incredible diets, the “shiny object syndrome” definitely applies. You might catch yourself thinking that you haven’t lost weight yet because you lack the willpower, and that this new diet will finally be the one to get you back into your skinny jeans.
Except… there’s just one problem with this. All these new diets are based on a fundamental scam that will keep you in this cycle forever. People keep telling you that if only you have this outside thing, this special plan and secret, you’ll lose weight.
The scam is — that there is something outside of you that can make you lose weight. There’s no solution “out there in the world” to change the way your body looks; if you want to lose weight, you need to fundamentally shift your mindset and how you feel about yourself.
There’s no outside solution to change your body; if you want to lose weight, you need to fundamentally shift your mindset.
The weight loss and dieting industries make billions of dollars each year by churning and burning through this misperception of how weight loss works. And we have bought into it – we’ve been scamming ourselves – for years!
Once you realize that the answers will come from within, you can put structures and tools into place to facilitate this new shift. Start with these three (and by the way, these are just a few of the steps we focus on in our new group coaching program, Feel Vibrant for Life).
Step 1: Assess Yourself
I can guarantee that skipping this step will ensure failure. This is because you can’t begin without knowing where you’re starting. Take your measurements. Take photos from the front, side and back. I know it can be painful, but I wouldn’t tell you to take this step if it wasn’t critical to your success.
Next, record what you’re eating. Notice the thoughts you have about your body and your self-worth as you make food choices. Write them down. You have to address how you feel about food and what needs are being met by your current choices. It’s not just about the food. It’s about how you are using food to meet your needs. Trust me, you will be shocked when you look back over the results.
Step 2: Design Your Plan
Now that you have a starting point and you have collected the right data, it’s time to design a plan and make a commitment for better health and happiness. This is about the logistics, but you have to be really honest with yourself when you envision your journey. What steps are you actually willing to take consistently? If you try to get healthier in a manner that doesn’t feel sustainable in the long run, you will fail miserably and you will probably gain back the weight you lost and then some. YIKES!
The all-or-nothing approach always leads to nothing and dieters fail because they set their standards too high. They white knuckle through the “all” until they fall into nothing. You’re too smart for that trap!
When designing your plan, you need to know how many calories your body requires to operate properly in weight loss mode. Do you know your target number? Besides eating the correct amount of calories, you need to exercise which reminds me of one of my favorite lines, “If the horse hasn’t run the track in four years, it’s not going to win the Kentucky Derby!” Moderation and baby steps are required when designing your exercise plan, too. Don’t be thinking you can go from couch to 5-hours of intense workouts per week. You’ll get injured, burned out, or both. Baby steps!
Step 3: Reframe Your Mindset
Change the mind, change the body.
This is the single most important element to make a practical, achievable and sustainable change. It’s also the antidote to the #1 weight loss scam I told you about at the beginning of this blog post! If you skip this step, you might as well go buy a box of Thin Mint cookies right now and start binging. Go ahead. I’ll even give you the $5.
Here’s how you can reframe common unhelpful thoughts:
“Dieting is when you eat food that makes you sad” turns into “I love enjoying healthy foods that keep my body nourished!”
“Exercise is death by treadmill” becomes, “I feel strong and energized when I lift weights.”
“I’ll be happy when I reach my goal weight,” becomes, “I’m so proud of myself that I’m working this hard to lose weight, and it makes me really happy to see the small successes along the way.”
Practice reframing your thoughts.
Are you ready to really do the mental work it takes to change your life?
“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.”
-W. L. Bateman
Becoming healthy isn’t a one-time affair, it’s a lifelong passion. Need a little help getting started? My Feel Vibrant for Life group coaching program will help you kick things off to a strong start! The program launches April 12th!