Here’s a truth bomb for you: diets don’t work.
I think on some level, we all know that.
And yet we keep trying.
The average woman has been on 8 diets just in the past year. And every time we fail, thinking we’re the problem, we feel a little bit worse about ourselves.
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Frankly it’s BS and I’m sick of it.
That’s why today I want to set the record straight.
Because honestly, I know exactly how it feels.
I struggled with my own weight for YEARS, and I tried all the things. One diet after another. Working out with a personal trainer. Running a half marathon. I even considered liposuction.
And it’s not that I NEVER would lose any weight. Sometimes I’d lose 5 or 10 or even 15 pounds. Once I even lost close to 25 pounds, which felt pretty amazing.
But then I would gain it back.
Every single time.
And not only gain it back, but gain it back PLUS a little extra for good measure.
For years I was on this yo-yo cycle of on-again, off-again diets, alternating between feeling miserable because I couldn’t eat, and feeling miserable because I had again eaten too much or totally blown it.
Losing weight then gaining it back. Over and over and over again.
And if you’ve ever struggled with this, then you probably know what I’m talking about.
It takes its toll.
Because often this battle to lose weight, to get a handle on our eating habits, it feels SO isolating and lonely.
We don’t want to talk about it, because we’re embarrassed.
And there’s so much shame that happens when we don’t feel good about ourselves and our body. It erodes our confidence. It changes the way we put ourselves out into the world. It affects our relationships and our sex life.
And it’s exhausting.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re 100 pounds overweight or 20 pounds overweight, because perception is reality. And if you don’t feel good about yourself and your body, then it doesn’t really matter what the scale says.
And that shame was affecting so many other parts of my life.
But then finally one day, I hit my breaking point.
I saw a picture someone else had taken of me, and It was the heaviest I had ever been. And when I saw that picture it was like seeing myself through someone else’s eyes for the first time.
It was the moment I realized something needed to give.
But after SO many previous failures, I also knew I had to stop with the dieting and actually commit to a permanent lifestyle change. I needed to find a way of eating that would work for my crazy busy life.
And so, for the first time ever, instead of just jumping into another fad diet, I decided to do something different.
Honestly, I just did what I do best–I started taking a deep dive into ALL the research and the science of sustainable weight loss. I took what I knew about what had actually worked for me in the past, and compared it to a lot of studies & data related to how our metabolism actually works.
And as I started learning all this stuff, I started to apply what I was learning to my own life. I started to change the way I ate and created a better system–the system we now call TAS (which stands for Thin Adapted System)–for healing my body from the inside out. Along the way, I lost more than 40 pounds but also became SO passionate about sharing what I’ve learned with as many people as I can.
And I think the biggest thing I want to share is honestly just this one simple thing:
DIETS DON’T WORK.
And the really sad thing to me is that I think that for most of us, our experience tells us this is true. Because I know MY story is so similar to SO many women that I talk to. We’ve all tried a million and one diets, and they’ve all failed.
And yet, we keep going back to the same old diets, hoping that this time it will be different. t’s like we’re all suffering from this weird form of cognitive dissonance, where even though the evidence clearly points us to one conclusion, we keep believing it must be something else.
But if you can actually open your eyes to the truth that diets don’t work and will never work, that’s also when you can open yourself up to the possibility of something that actually does work.
The 3 Big Reasons Diets Always Fail
So let’s talk about why diets fail, and why they will always and forever be nothing but an exercise in frustration and misery that don’t actually lead to lasting results.
First, most diets are not sustainable long term.
Most diets, in one way or another, require you to dramatically cut back on calories and restrict what you are eating. This alone is not sustainable because all it does is put your body into starvation mode. And when your body is in starvation mode, literally all you can think about is food.
And there’s actually a reason for that–your body is designed first and foremost to ensure your survival–to keep your heart pumping and your blood flowing and your organs working. And if it senses that it’s not getting what it needs, it will constantly be sending you signals and cravings to remind you that you need more food and nutrients and energy.
So you might think that you’re weak or that you just need more willpower, but the reality is that it’s impossible to fight the way your body was biologically designed. Eventually you will give in because the cravings will be too strong.
But it’s not just the calorie restriction and deprivation that isn’t sustainable. A lot of time these diet plans are SO complicated and require special foods or they don’t allow you to eat out or you have to cook something separate for yourself or it’s just a big giant pain in the you know what. And that’s not sustainable either.
Because you have to be able to live your life. You still need to be able to go out to eat and go on vacation and if you’re a mom you still have to cook for your family and you still have to live your life. And most diets make it hard to just live your life. It’s like taking on a second full time job.
Because I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for another full time job. Whatever I do, it has to feel easy. Because easy is sustainable.
Second, most diets are based on outdated science.
But maybe an even bigger problem with most diets is that they’re based on outdated science that doesn’t actually work and isn’t actually true.
Almost every single diet is based on the same totally misguided idea that weight loss is all a matter of “calories in and calories out.” Basically, if you want to lose weight, you just have to eat less and exercise more, and consume fewer calories than you are burning. And while that all sounds well and good, and even seems to make sense, it’s actually not true.
What most people don’t realize is that your body is already burning thousands and thousands and thousands of calories every single day, just to keep you alive–just to keep your heart pumping and your blood flowing. And most people simply can’t eat that many calories so the problem really isn’t that you’re eating too much. If it really was about calories in and calories out, we’d all be skinny because we’re all burning a crazy number of calories a day–so many that our body actually has to CREATE more energy.
So if that’s true, why do we still gain weight and have so much trouble losing it? It’s because it’s not just about calories in and calories out. Actually, your body has a really complex system of hormones that play a huge role in weight gain and loss.
And the problem is that almost every diet does nothing to address those hormones–they keep focusing on the outdated idea of “calories in versus calories out” when they should actually be looking at how to regulate and balance your hormones.
Third, most diets don’t address the underlying root causes of weight gain.
You see, weight gain is not just about eating too much or not exercising enough. It’s often a symptom of something else going on in your body–something that is out of balance and needs to be addressed, both physiologically and often emotionally.
From a physiological perspective, the primary root causes of weight gain include insulin resistance, leaky gut syndrome, and hormonal imbalance, all three of which we’ve talked about quite a bit here on this podcast. And these underlying issues can be exacerbated from a variety of factors, such as chronic stress, poor diet and nutrition, lack of sleep, and even certain medications.
But if you’re only trying to cut calories and not actually working to HEAL your body from the inside out, in many cases you’ll just end up making things worse. And that’s why most diets fail–because they don’t actually address the root causes of weight gain.
But there’s also an emotional component to weight gain that many diets completely overlook. Our relationship with food is often tied to our emotions, and we often use food as a coping mechanism for stress, boredom, or other emotional triggers. Most diets don’t address this aspect of weight gain and fail to provide tools or support for dealing with emotional eating.
How to Stop Dieting & Instead Transform Your Health for Life
So what’s the solution? How can we finally break free from the dieting cycle and actually create lasting change in our health and weight?
Honestly, I believe it starts with a mindset shift. We need to be willing to let go of the idea that diets are the answer, and the belief that there’s some sort of “quick fix” out there, and instead be willing to take a sustainable, long-term approach to your health.
And this is hard! I know it’s hard, because I’ve struggled with it too!
I am an instant gratification kind of person, and I tend to want what I want right now. I don’t want to have to wait. I don’t want to have to have it take a long time.
But when I look back at my own journey I see just how ironic that is.
Because I spent years and years and years on that yo yo diet cycle, always looking for a “quick fix” that never actually worked long term. I wasted so much time, so many precious years of my life trying to “lose weight fast,” when the reality is that what I needed was a sustainable lifestyle change.
Because when I finally committed to changing my lifestyle for life, and when I finally did developed a system that was SO easy and SO delicious and SO sustainable that I knew I could easily eat this way for the rest of my life without ever feeling deprived, then the weight loss and health transformation actually happened pretty fast–especially when I look back on it.
I lost 40 pounds in six months, and I’ve kept it off for years.
And so to me, that’s the big secret.
It’s settling in for the long haul.
It’s realizing that what got you to here–whatever weight you’re at, and whatever health issues you’re struggling with–didn’t happen overnight. You didn’t just wake up one morning and find yourself 50 pounds overweight, with all your joints aching and having indigestion and heartburn and feeling totally exhausted all the time.
It happened slowly, a little bit at a time.
And reversing all of that, actually healing your body from the inside out and fixing the ROOT CAUSES of your weight gain so that your metabolism can start functioning the way it is supposed to again–all of that will take some time too. And not only that, even if you lose the weight, you need to make sure you’re setting yourself up with sustainable HABITS that you can stick with long term.
So how much time should you give yourself?
Well, honestly, I recommend committing to at least one full year.
Enough time that you can make the necessary changes slowly and actually see the benefit of long-term results, and also long enough to make your new habits stick.
That’s what I’ve experienced in my own journey, but it’s also what we’re seeing in our program with our clients who have now been in for a year or more–the long term health benefits just keep compounding for them, and it’s pretty incredible to watch.
And honestly, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and thinking about how it might be helpful to create some sort of actual path for people to follow–sort of a one-year health road map that lays out the blueprint for a sustainable health and weight loss journey.
If you’re interested in seeing this blueprint and understanding how it can help you, I’m going to be hosting a couple of free LIVE workshops on November 5th and 6th, and I really hope you can join me. It’s going to be really fun and interactive and my goal is for you to walk away with your own blueprint for transforming your health over the next 12 months.
So if you want to join me for this live workshop, which is called Healthy, Happy & FREE in 2024, all you need to do is register HERE. And once again, the workshop is totally free to attend–you just have to get registered.
I’ll see you there!
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