Five Reasons Diets are NOT Sustainable

Let's say you hear about the diet of moment that guarantees success, so you try it, and have results, but then boom you're right back where you started? Me too!! There's another way, keep reading!

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Five Reasons Diets are NOT Sustainable

Does this sound familiar? You hear about this wonderful diet that will guarantee weight-loss, so you try it, only to gain even more weight back once you’ve lost it?

Don’t feel bad. You are not alone. Just because a diet works for one person, does not mean that it will work for you. Diets are destined to fail, and it should come as no surprise. You want to live your life not be a slave to watching everything that goes in your mouth or spending hours working out while not achieving anything in particular.

Here are the top 5 reasons why diets are not sustainable and 5 actionable steps you can take right now to fix each one

1 - People choose to use a diet to achieve a short-term goal

That goal is usually to lose weight before an upcoming event. Diets are perceived from the onset as a temporary action used to obtain an immediate result. Once that result is achieved, the diet is stopped and old eating habits return. Instead of a short-term fix, discover what fuel your body needs for a long term healthy, vibrant life and stick with that. If you’re giving your body what it needs and make this the foundation of your life you naturally get healthier, happier and more vibrant in the process.

Actionable step

Start your day with protein and healthy fat such as eggs, and or bulletproof coffee. NO sugary carbs or starches for breakfast.

2 - The yo-yo diet

If you found this page looking for another diet you are all too familiar with yo-yo dieting. You diet, hit that short-term goal, quit, gain the weight back, repeat. To quote Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This repeated failure has massive negative effects on every part of you. Your mind goes crazy with negative self-berating thoughts that start with ‘I can’t’, ‘Why can’t I …’, ‘I’m just meant to be fat and unhealthy’, I’m starving and I’m depriving myself for nothing’. Your body has hormones that are screwed at this point and your fat burning ability is disappearing a little each time. Your emotional soul is sad, mad and frustrated.

Actionable step

Write this on a piece of paper verbatim and tape it on your bathroom mirror or your computer where you will read it at least daily. "To achieve something I've never achieved, I need to do things I've never or rarely done. I will start by showing myself compassion and love when I behave in ways that are in concordance with the way I am hard wired."

3 - You're trying to lose the wrong thing

Indiscriminately losing weight without regards to your lean body mass is working against your natural rhythms. The more lean body mass you have the faster you can lose fat. Muscle also helps to regulate your hormones, you are able to move more and be more active, and you look and feel healthier.

Actionable step

Stick your phone in your pocket right after you put it in airplane mode or do not disturb and go for a walk when you are stressed, preferably outside and take in the fresh air. Look up while you are walking and smile at people you meet. Bonus points for speaking to them.

4 - Before even starting a diet, people believe that they will be depriving themselves of foods they love

Entering into a program with this mindset clearly does not support success. This constant experience of deprivation will bring on food cravings that will be difficult to ignore. Instead of fighting your hard wiring you need tools to work with your brain and hormones so that you remain happy and satisfied while you are losing fat.

Actionable step

Pack a lunch box every day. Meals should consist mostly of protein and vegetables, yes, vegetables (remember those?), some healthy fat, and 1 small serving of starch. Stick with whole foods in their natural state.

This brings me to the last reason why diets are not sustainable.

5 - They do not address hunger and cravings and how to handle them

This is the number one reason why we quit the diet and we beat ourselves up for not have the willpower to succeed. Willpower and energy are finite resources that we need to regenerate throughout the day, so that you reach for the healthy alternatives instead of what you’re craving.

Actionable step

Challenge yourself to take breaks, especially when you feel yourself getting stressed or overwhelmed, be compassionate with yourself, go for a walk. If you sit at a desk all day, run up a flight of stairs or do some squats by your desk, get your blood pumping and thank me later. You get 2 steps for this one: pay attention to your sleep! If you average less than 7 hours a night start stretching it out 15 minutes at a time for a goal of 7-9 hours per night.

Unfortunately for many individuals, diets only offer a short-term solution to a foundational problem. Food is fuel for the human body. Upgrading your fuel source to the most effective nutrition plan for you is the best approach to eating, in order to obtain fat loss, lean body mass retention and optimal health.

I'm a nurse helping nurses and hospital case managers of all disciplines kick stress, and its destructive effects on your health, to the curb by building a healthy, vibrant, foundation for life.

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3,413 Posts

Has 38 years experience.

Do you write/coach about life's "little problems" also? Loneliness, depression, etc?

I've never had a weight problem but some of your ideas resonated with me in my depressed, day after Thanksgiving, mood.

1 hour ago, CoachLeAnn said:
To achieve something I've never achieved. I need to do something I've never or rarely done. I will start by showing myself compassion and love" when I mess up because of how I'm hard wired.

I edited your sentence because concordance isn't a word I hear or use? Not sure if it's meaning.

Aker-Fit, ADN, EMT-B

2 Articles; 12 Posts

Specializes in Nurse, Nutrition, Fitness and Lifestyle Coach. Has 27 years experience.

@brownbook yes absolutely and thank you for your feedback. I believe that we need to treat our bodies, brains and souls and one package. Health is about much much more than what we put in our mouths. You got it right by saying we need to be compassionate with ourselves "when we mess up"; beating ourselves up or "sucking it up" is one of the most destructive things we as nurses do to our mental, physical and spiritual health and everything I coach comes back to "dealing with life" in a healthier happier manner. This weekend I'll post another article and I'll update all the places I can be reached so that you can learn more.

RNat55, ADN, RN

3 Articles; 55 Posts

Has 4 years experience.

Aker-Fit, I identify with what you wrote because I believe one can only commit to a diet that is part of your daily life: what one naturally and normally do.

The focus should therefore be on changing what we eat and making it part of our lifestyle. This way it comes easily and naturally to us to do that, and don't feel a slave "watching everything that goes in your mouth or spending hours working out while not achieving anything in particular." ?

I have promised myself when I start my nursing job, I want to always prep my meals and take to work, so I maintain eating healthy food I eat at home.

Thank you. The article confirms I am on the right path.

Aker-Fit, ADN, EMT-B

2 Articles; 12 Posts

Specializes in Nurse, Nutrition, Fitness and Lifestyle Coach. Has 27 years experience.

Your Welcome! Thank you for commenting. My number one best tools for staying on track with my nutrition plan are my lunchbox and meal prep on Sundays! Good deal and congratulations on the new job!