BELLY-FLOP IN THE DIETING POOL
The diet industry is a $40 billion industry in the U.S. You can buy pills and supplements, or a meal plan with an understanding consultant on the side. You can get a low-cal this, a zero-calorie that and a calorie counting gizmo. And yet, most diets fail. Why is that? If you’ve done a belly-flop in the dieting pool, there’s a few ways you can recover. Think of us as your dieting life savers. We’re here to help.
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
The first thing to remember about diets is this: according to news sources, most people “regain about one-third of the weight lost during the next year and are typically back to baseline in three to five years.” If you’ve fallen off the wagon, either AFTER or DURING a diet, you’re not alone. Keep the following three rules in mind, and you may be able to get the weight off and keep it off.
Rule #1 – Forgive Yourself
If you’ve just eaten an entire row of Girl Scout cookies, don’t despair. Forgive yourself and move on. Don’t eat the second row of cookies, or open the next box. You’re human. A momentary slip up is not a signal to throw in the towel. Get back on that horse! Step up to the plate! Jump back in the pool! We have a ton of metaphors for forgiving yourself and starting over again. Don’t make us use them all!
Rule #2 – Skip the Gimmicks
There is no magic pill or silver bullet for weight loss. From Jenny Craig to Weight Watchers to the Atkins diet – they all emphasize that permanent weight loss is a combination of calories in and energy out. Weight loss without exercise and movement is a temporary state of being.
Sources report that the most common reasons for diet “failure” are the following:
- Diet is too strict. When you’re living in a land of denial, you can end up feeling deprived and then binge on the forbidden foods.
- Diet is not seen as a total lifestyle change. Maybe you lost weight for you best friend’s wedding or other special occasion. If you lost weight and gained it right back, chances are you didn’t see it as a total lifestyle change, but rather, as a temporary fix.
- Impatience. If it took you three years to put on, it will take more than three months to take off. One to two pounds per week is a healthy rate of loss.
- All or nothing thinking. See rule #1. If you had a candy bar at lunch that doesn’t mean you should have pizza and beer for dinner.
- Slow metabolism. If you’ve been on and off of diets for a period of time, your metabolism has probably settled into an inefficient mode of operation. Your body has been preparing for the next “famine” and is storing fat to be ready for it.
Rule #3 – Find a Balance
Moderation seems to be another general trend for healthy and permanent weight loss. Balance your calories with your exercise. Balance your fruit and veggies with protein and water. Balance your need for speedy weight loss with the health benefits of slow and steady weight loss which can be permanent.
TIPS FOR PERMANENT WEIGHT LOSS
If you’d like to prevent another belly-flop in the dieting pool, try these five tips:
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered obese. More than one in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity. Almost three in four men (74 percent) are considered overweight or obese.
- Small rewards. Allow an occasional treat—just be honest about portion sizes.
- Variety. Use your dieting food choices as a chance to try out new veggies, different recipes and other new ways of eating healthy that you can stick to on a permanent basis.
- Patience. See Rule #2. If you take the weight off slowly, you’re more likely to keep it off.
- Make good choices. Every meal or snack is an opportunity to make a good choice. Focus on making “good” food choices, not “perfect” ones.
- Exercise. It helps your body break down your fat cells, rather than your muscles cells. Aerobic exercise helps increase your metabolic rate.
Are you included in those statistics? Start making good choices and lose that weight. Don’t make us use more metaphors!