Since it's the New Year and every where you look there's a different diet being shoved in your face making all kinds of miraculous promises I want to offer a few things...
According to the National Institute of Health, 98% of people who lose weight on a diet regain all the weight they lose and a large majority gain even more than they lost.
And up to 90% of people who start a new fitness program, quit within 3 months.
Close to 90% of people who set New Year's resolutions give up before ever achieving them.
Those strategies are not working.
Insanity: doing the same over and over again and expecting a different result.
If you've been dieting and/or setting resolutions for years and you're still not happy with your body, yourself or your life... it's the definition of insanity to do the same thing again in 2020.
If you actually want a different result this time, you have to do something different. And no, trying a new diet isn't doing something different - it's just doing a different version of the same basic thing that's already failed you a million times.
EIGHT IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT LOSING WEIGHT
Healthy diets do not eliminate entire food groups and weight loss doesn't require eliminating anything. Dramatically reducing or eliminating entire food groups is disordered eating. And diets that eliminate entire food groups are not sustainable long term so they WILL cause you to regain everything you lose (and probably more).
If your diet is eliminating entire food groups or labeling certain foods as good vs bad, you're seriously at risk of creating a ridiculously messed up relationship with food... and yourself. ESPECIALLY long term. Please don't risk your mental health in pursuit of weight loss or a healthy body. It's not worth it.
ANY diet that you can be happy sticking to will result in weight loss if you are at a caloric deficit. Weight loss is not a difficult or complicated process. You could eat nothing but twinkies and lose weight if you're eating less than you burn. Seriously. (not that I recommend that, you'll feel like garbage ;) ) The point is, the commonality behind ALL "successful" diets are a caloric deficit coupled with consistency and compliance. There is no miracle, just a consistent caloric deficit. Consistency is the key and the best consistency trigger is what you're already consistently doing so don't change what or how you normally eat, just start changing how MUCH of it you eat. Portion control is key. (Learn the 7 biggest consistency killers - download my free ebook, "Why'd I Eat That?" here) Also, just because a diet claims to work faster, or have science behind it, doesn't mean it's healthy or that the "science" behind it is even true or valid. AND just because you're eating "healthy" doesn't mean you're eating for weight loss. Studies on the LONG TERM success rates of diets prove that 1) no one diet works any better than another and 2) none of them work long term. PLUS, no diet can tell you what's best for YOUR body, better than your own body.
Weight loss is actually pretty simple. It's not a complicated process. Losing weight is not the hard part. ALL it requires is a consistent caloric deficit. Eat less than your body needs and you'll lose weight. That's it. The reason you struggle to keep it off or stay consistent has nothing to do with your willpower or motivation or ability to be successful and everything to do with the things going on in your brain. (Click here to learn more)
Here's the biggest secret of all... you need to stop focusing on weight loss. Continuing to focus on weight loss is going to keep resulting in the same outcome - no sustained weight loss. Focusing on weight loss keeps you trapped in that cycle of trying to force yourself to eat something you think you're supposed to in the hope that maybe sometime at a later date the scale will reflect a different number or you can buy a smaller size in jeans. It's TERRIBLE "motivation" that almost never works because there's no immediate gratification. Rather than trying to force and willpower your way to disordered eating in order to make the scale go down, listen to your body. Learn to make choices for it from a place of love, rather than fear over your size or what the scale says. Learn to stop letting your brain make all the choices by running it's autopilot programs of mindlessly eating in front of the TV or to numb emotions, or just because the food is there because as long as those habits persist weight loss will never last anyway. Your time and energy is far more productively spent working on the reasons weight went on in the first place, than on what the scale says. And if you focus on how the things you're eating are making you feel, you CAN get instant gratification. The things you choose to eat today cannot affect your weight today, but they can and will affect how you feel today. And don't you want to FEEL GOOD?
Learn to trust and listen to your body. It's really friggen smart and knows how to eat. It knows what makes it feel good and what doesn't and it wants to eat things that make it feel good. It doesn't want to overeat until it's ready to hurl - overeating, emotional eating, mindlessly eating, those are all behaviors being driven by your brain - not your body. Switch it so your body is making the choices for itself, rather than your brain. To do that start by eliminating all the food rules and diet mindsets. They're just making it harder to hear your body. Then pay attention to how the things you're eating make you feel. Start asking yourself before you eat, how is that going to make me feel? Do I want to feel that way? Do I need it? Why do I want it? Am I physically hungry? Be aware that anytime you're eating when you're not physically hungry, or when you know it's going to make you feel like crap, that's an action being driven subconsciously by your brain. Be mindful and knowledgeable about what goes in your mouth AND how much of it is going in. You can lose weight and be healthy without being deprived or scared of slipping and having a "bad" food. You can learn to be lean, healthy and sane without even spending a dime... if you just take the time to learn how to break away from the fad diet roller coaster. I swear it'll be the best thing you ever do for yourself.
If you've been struggling with weight and food and a brain that drives those types of behaviors, focusing on weight loss is the single least effective thing you can do. I feel like this doesn't even need any explanation. Just look at your own history. How many times have you tried? Have you kept it off yet? Obviously not or you wouldn't be here. As long as your brain is stuck in those self-sabotaging habits, there's close to zero chance you're ever going to keep it off. But that's the good news because you CAN change those things.
Don't put a time frame on your new habits... do it until. Do it until you're where you want to be. Do it until it's second nature. Do it until it's your new normal. I don't care how many times you "screw up" or "fall off the wagon" just keep starting again and do it until.... accept that all of those things are a NORMAL part of the process and use them as learning opportunities rather than excuses to beat on yourself and quit. Picture the life you want and never, ever stop working on creating it. No matter what.
The above points are ALL you need to lose weight. If you know what you need to do and consistently don't do it, there are deeper issues going on.
If you've spent much of your life struggling with your weight and/or jumping from one diet to another trying to find "THE" one you can finally stick to, until you address the real issues behind your weight you will continue to do just that.
Continuing to waste time dieting does nothing to help you, it only makes matters worse by continuing to reinforce habits that are keeping you stuck.
Hear me when I tell you this because I speak from over a decade of experience.
Years of dieting wires habits, mindsets and behaviors into your brain that keep you stuck repeating the same habit loops of "falling off track" or "failing" over and over again. No new diet can change those. They only make them worse.
And food and body issues run DEEP. I've said this before, trying to diet those things away is like trying to fix a gun shot wound with a bullet.
It. Doesn't. Work.
This is why we struggle so much with food and our weight. It's not because we don't know HOW to lose weight, it's because those things are keeping us stuck and repeating the same patterns over and over again. That doesn't mean you can't fix it... it just means you need to stop dieting and start working on the specific set of steps required to change those things. It's almost 2020... it's time we start doing something different.