silver fork and knife on plate

Diet means “manner of living” and should be experienced repeatedly. But diets have become short term solutions to one’s problems. When people say the word diet they automatically think short-term. They want to get their body ready for the summer to go to the beach.

What people think when you say diet.

If you say the word diet to a friend, they will think about something temporary and weight loss. A diet can be defined as a temporary way of living to achieve the desired outcome of weight loss.

There are all kinds of diets to choose from, ranging from blood type diets to fast food diets. WebMD has a list A – Z on the many kinds of diets there are with reviews for them all. If you are looking for a temporary fix (new diet) then it might be a good place to start. Maybe your New Year diet isn’t working out as you expected, so what is the answer?

Why Diets Don’t Work

Most diets are designed to help you lose weight, and a lot of them help you do just that. So why are diets bad? Yes, you lose weight, but a high percentage of people who lose weight by dieting will regain it back. The reason why this happens is your body goes into starvation mode, and it responds by slowing your metabolism which makes it harder to lose weight. Moreover, because many people will not see the changes they want, end up quitting their diet. This will lead to gaining more weight than you originally started with.

Most of these fad diets can be harmful to your body. They restrict essential nutrients and can take the pleasure out of eating. They teach you nothing about how to eat healthily. You might lose the weight that you wanted to but once you have completed the diet you are on, you will go back to your unhealthy eating patterns almost right away. Many of these diets don’t tell you that if you want to continue to be healthy, you need to change your lifestyle. Eating healthy is a lifestyle, not a short term solution.

Many companies that are selling you these fad diets are not there to help you change your lifestyle, they are there to take your money. They want you to rebound back to your original weight or more. That way they can sell you more products that they say will help you with your weight loss. I know that their product is attractive to many people that want to lose weight. But you need to realize that the only way you are going to see long term change is to change your lifestyle.

How to Make it Work

Now we know that doing these short term diets (fad diets) are bad for our health and don’t always work the way we expected them to. We need to change our lifestyle. So how do we do that?

Changing your lifestyle is a long and at times difficult process. You really need to look at what your daily life is like and how you eat or drink throughout the day. There are a few steps that can help you break down the process. A few books that can help you with these processes are Essentialism by Greg McKeown and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Both of these books are not about diets but about changing your lifestyle and looking at what’s important. You can apply their methodologies to your own lifestyle.

  1. Clean! Look in your refrigerator and take everything out and put it on the table. What kinds of foods do you have? Section them off by types of food.
    • Meat
    • Vegetables
    • Dairy
    • Junk/pre-made
    • Drinks
  2. Throw out! Basically, anything that is junk food/pre-made. The key is to limit the food that is pre-made, while they are tasty and easy to make, they also are ultimately bad for your body.
  3. Cook! This is an important area for many reasons. Cooking your food cannot just help with your health but also help you save money, as well as makes you think more about what you put into your body.
  4. Schedule! Plan your meals out. It is always good to know what you are eating during the day or week. By planning out your meals you can save time and money. Buying only what you need at the supermarket is important. Most people that go shopping without an idea of what to buy, will go down each aisle and end up getting a lot of food that they don’t need. Most likely junk/pre-made food.
  5. Exercise! Just doing exercise will not get you the results you want but combining it with a healthy diet, you will see results. Think of the 80/20 method. 80% of your diet is eating healthy and 20% is exercising. Depending on your goals the exercises you do will change but the most important aspect is movement. Living a stagnant lifestyle is never good. You need to move. Walking is a great way to start. It up to you but I recommend doing something that you will enjoy.

Final Thoughts

It will take time to retrain the way you live your life. But if you keep at it you will see long term change in your life. It will become natural to lead a healthy lifestyle. It is time to change the meaning of diet in your vocabulary. This is not a diet but a lifestyle.