Diets work, but dieting doesn’t!
It’s simple to understand the difference between the two, and why diets work but dieting doesn’t.
Diet is a noun.
It means: the kinds of food that a person, animal, community or culture habitually eats. For example, “a vegetarian diet.”
Diet is a verb (to diet, dieting)
I think that’s really all the explanation I need to give to explain why diets work, but dieting doesn’t.
If we have been eating a diet that has created an calorie overload, our bodies cleverly convert the calories it didn’t need to fuel into body fat.
The problem with many of our modern diets is they’re not balanced.
We may or may not reach our goal this way, and at some point we get tired of dieting and resume our former unbalanced diet.
Many people will attest that dieting, and not a lack of willpower, is the root cause of their obesity. I find it highly insulting and ignorant when anybody tries to say that “obesity is simply a lack of determination and willpower.”
What is a diet that works to achieve and sustain a healthy weight?
It must be:
- Nutritionally balanced (provide in adequate amounts all the macronutrients and micronutrients your body requires for good health.
- It must be satisfying in volume and flavor.
- It’s habitual, or in other words, it’s easy to do without thinking about it.
- It allows some indulgences. It’s based on progress, not perfection.
- Its calories are balanced (or slightly less than – depending on whether you want to lose or maintain) with your bodies fuel needs to stay alive and physical activities.
Adjusting to a healthful diet may be challenging at first.
Each of us has been conditioned to eat a certain way and choose certain foods. We may also be conditioned to ignore our body’s signals of satiety, eat for reasons other than homeopathic hunger, and be used to a diet of foods processed with a lot of added fats and sugars.
In addition to the physical conditioning that guides our eating habits, we may also have mentally conditioned ourselves to believe we cannot adhere to a healthier diet because we are victims of our environments. There are simply too many influences all around us all the time forcing us to make poor food choices and/or eat when we’re not hungry.
If the challenges are more than you can handle there is help!
There are also programs that combine a healthful food plan and behavioral modification that can be very effective in helping you establish your new diet. The Weight Watchers program and meetings help members find their personal and healthy diets. The program framework allows individuals to make their own choices of nutritious food that appeals to their preferences and in both flavor and volume.
Meetings provide accountability but, that’s less important than the insight and support members receive. The meetings are an environment of group support that is highly effective in helping members make positive changes in the way they think and subsequently the actions they make. Best of all, Weight Watchers doesn’t encourage members to diet. Weight Watchers teaches members how to eat a healthful diet!
Of course, nobody needs to pay to learn how to revise their weight-gaining diet into a weight management diet. If you’re not having success, however, doing it on your own, it does make sense to get help.
If you’re going to pay to get help, be sure that you select a program that conforms to The Weight Loss Consumer’s Bill of Rights.
If you have been dieting to lose weight, stop now!