We are constantly looking for the quick fix in life: the magic weight loss pill, the exercise that will give us a 6-pack tomorrow, the investment that will return one million dollars within the hour. We all know that nothing comes easy and that there is no such thing as a “quick fix.” However, we still try and find the shortcuts where we can. One of the most prevalent examples of this is dieting. I’m going to explain to you the top 5 reasons why I don’t do dieting and easy solutions you can use today for long-term change.
Dieting results are only temporary.
Problem: Most diets are too complicated or exhausting to maintain for a long period of time. It is not fathomable (or healthy) to cut out an entire food group, such as carbohydrates, from your diet for the rest of your life. Eventually, you will end up “cheating” or eating something that is not included in your diet. Because of the pressure you’ve put on yourself to achieve diet perfection, any slip up or regression can feel devastating. This causes a slippery slope and usually ends with you stopping the diet altogether.
Solution: Unless you have incredible willpower, which most of us do not, never stop or quit something cold turkey. Are you drinking 4 Diet Cokes per day? As much as I’d love for you to stop drinking them entirely, it is not a recipe for long term change. Start out by reducing your Diet Coke intake to 2 per day for a week or two. Then ween yourself down to one per day, one every other day, one per week, etc., until you no longer have the craving. Although the number varies, most research says it takes about 60 days to create a habit. What does that mean for you? If you start removing the Diet Coke or the bag of candy at night from your daily ritual, after 60 days or less your body will no longer crave it.
Dieting and rapid weight loss affects your body’s normal functions.
Problem: If we drastically reduce the number of calories or nutrients we consume, then our bodies go into starvation mode. In order to stay full and satiated with less food, our bodies slow down its metabolism as to not burn the food and calories too quickly.
Solution: Instead of reducing your caloric intake too quickly, start with simple portion control. By slowly reducing how much we are eating, we prevent our body from going into starvation mode and disrupting our normal functions, such as metabolism, heart rate, temperature, and mood. Skipping meals is never a good route either. Keep eating at normal intervals throughout the day, but make sure you are using proper portion control.
Dieting drains your energy.
Problem: Even if your diet is not as healthy as it could or should be, your body is used to drawing its energy from what you’re putting into your mouth. Decreasing calories and nutrients equals decreasing energy and strength.
Solution: Never cut out a food group entirely. The best rule of thumb is always EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. If you are going to decrease the number of calories you’re eating, make sure you are putting nutrient-dense foods into your body. Instead of eating an entire bag of potato chips, eat ½ cup or ¾ cup of cooked brown rice or quinoa. You are still giving your body the carbohydrates it is used to, but you’re replacing empty calories, or calories that come from foods with no nutrients such as potato chips, with complex, nutrient-dense calories that improve your health and function.
Dieting distracts you from what is really important.
Problem: We become so obsessed with dieting and being a certain body weight that we lose sight of what is really important in our lives.
Solution: Do not shut out the rest of your life and the things that matter and are important to you simply to try a new diet regimen. Remember that losing unwanted weight and improving your health and nutrition can be fun! If you incorporate your friends and family into the process, then it is much more rewarding and easier to stay on track. Chances are there is a friend or family member that could benefit from improving their health as well. Try teaming up and setting short- and long-term goals for each of you. Trust me, accomplishing your goals with a teammate, friend, or family member is always more rewarding than going at it alone. Remember, the key is healthy living, not short-term dieting.
Dieting is a major precursor to eating disorders.
Problem: We start dieting to lose 1-2 pounds, but before we know it, we become obsessed and begin hurting ourselves through a process we began, ironically, to improve our health.
Solution: Remember that weight is not the sole indicator of health or disease. People can be heavier and in good health or thinner and in poor health. The ultimate goal is to improve our overall health and change our bad habits, not just the numbers on the scale. Restricting food is never the solution for losing weight. Keep your portions in moderation, eat nutrient-dense foods, and focus on improving your health nutritionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
At Excel Chiropractic, we do not focus on only one aspect of the body. We are complex beings and need to be looked at as a whole. Although our goal is to always ensure proper structural alignment in our patient’s bodies, we want to make sure that when they leave the office, their health and well-being is still the number one priority. By focusing on our patient’s health from many different angles, such as the body’s alignment, nutrition, and exercise habits, we can see incredible results that last much longer than if we had only focused on one aspect. Are you interested in improving your or your family’s health? Schedule a complimentary consultation with us today so we can create the perfect plan to help take care of you and the ones that mean the most to you!