Can We PLEASE Be Done with the BS “Quick Fix” Diets??
#FitTribe Coaching is starting on Monday, November 7th, and for the month of November we are diving into Moderation content because the holidays are right around the corner. Some people think of the holidays as a time when weight gain is inevitable, but we are going to be discussing ways to maintain instead of gain during the holiday season. Anyways, this got me thinking about all the bad information available about dieting.
Everywhere I look I’ve been seeing 10 day diet challenges that promise amazing results in just 10 days but most require you to cut out everything from your diet but the kitchen sink.
I had an interesting conversation with a coworker this week at work about this very topic. She hit me up on IM to discuss this new diet she was going to try because of course, she needs to lose 10 pound quick. I looked it up, and here is what I found. On this “diet”, you aren’t allowed to eat anything processed, no sugars, no artificial sweeteners, no flour, no grains (rice, quinoa, etc.), no bread, no pasta, no sweets, no starches (including sweet potatoes, squash, or beets), no beans or legumes, no dairy, no caffeine, and of course, no alcohol.
Hmm…so I guess you can eat meat and egg whites? Oh and maybe some broccoli.
She wanted to get my opinion on it. I kept it real with her. I think this diet sucks.
I think all “quick fix” diets suck.
If I’m completely honest, I think my friend could white knuckle it through the 10 days without cheating. She could probably make it. But happens after the 10 days is over? What happens more often than not is that people go on a binge and eat all the things they have been restricting themselves from for the last 10 days. Any weight that is lost is usually gained back within a couple of weeks because when you restrict your diet severely, you typically want those things more. Dietary restrictions typically create feelings of deprivation which commonly lead to bigger cravings, periods of bingeing or overeating, food obsession, and weight gain. Essentially, extreme dietary restrictions are counterproductive.
I was having dinner with my sister a few days ago, and she told me about a mutual friend of ours who recently lost a lot of weight. This individual recently told my sister that she went to a weight loss clinic to get some pills because she can’t seem to lose more weight (side note: one of the possible side effects of said pills is heart failure…yikes!). The back story is that she is exhibiting classic binge behaviors. She will go days where she eats nothing but watermelon (for the entire day) and then go through periods where she binges on 5 doughnuts at one sitting. This can easily occur when you severely restrict your diet, and you can quickly fall into the trap of yo-yo dieting which destroys your metabolism.
I’m SO tired of the diet industry preying on the emotions of women and selling them bullshit “quick fix” diets and pills.
I simply do not believe in this stuff. It’s BS.
When it comes to nutrition, my approach is much different. I believe in moderation, sampling, and satisfaction factor.
What does that all mean?
In short, there are no “off limit” foods for me. There is nothing that I restrict from my diet (those that know me know I have a deep love for gourmet doughnuts). I prioritize lean proteins and veggies for sure. But I also eat lots of carbs and healthy fats, and when I want a glass of wine or a piece of chocolate, I have it. The fact that I know I can eat whatever foods I want creates a healthy relationship with food. I never feel the need to binge on a whole bag of chips or an entire pint of ice cream. I can sample those things if I feel like it and move on.
But what if you want to lose weight? How can you do that without falling in the yo-yo dieting and restriction trap?
Here are 4 tools you can implement to help you move in the direction of your goals without making yourself miserable or worse, damaging your mental and physical health.
1. Remember that slow and steady wins the race.
I know that everyone wants to lose weight right now. But honestly, when it comes to fat loss, you have to lose the “right now” mentality. If you want to create sustainable fat loss, slow and steady always wins the race. When you make healthy and moderate changes in your nutrition coupled with proper training, you can expect to lose any where from .5 pounds to 1.5 pounds a week. Initially, you may think that sounds super slow but if you lost an average of pound a week, think where you would be in a year. Additionally, your fat loss will be simple and sustainable. You won’t be white knuckling it through a torturous process only to gain it all back.
From the example above, if my friend can successfully white knuckle it and get through the 10 day diet fix only to gain it all back what good did that do? Consistency over time wins every single time. I would rather someone be consistent with small changes, create healthy habits, lose weight at a healthy rate and successfully maintain weight loss (even if it’s slow progress) then to do a “quick fix” only to gain it all back.
Consistently repeated daily actions + time = massive results. This is something we will be discussing in detail in #FitTribe Coaching.
2. Stop labeling foods “off limits.”
Labeling certain foods or whole groups of food as “off limits” will psychologically mind fuck you. Back in the day when I use to be a restrictive dieter, the moment I was on a diet, I wanted to eat everything that I had labeled as “bad.” I was obsessed with everything that I couldn’t eat and dieting felt like torture. I would restrict for long periods of time and then eventually I would breakdown and eat everything that I had been restricting. The satisfaction was fleeting because after I had consumed way too much food, I would feel sick, bloated, lethargic, and of course, guilty. Talk about a bad relationship with food! These days, I don’t consider or label any foods as “bad.”
Now that’s not to say that I eat pizza or burgers every single day (or even every week) because I don’t. I prioritize lean proteins and veggies along with healthy fats every single day. That’s what 90-95% of my meals look like. However, I also enjoy the occasional glass of wine or piece of chocolate (because who doesn’t love chocolate). The fact that I know I can have these foods and they aren’t “off limits” allows me to have a healthy relationship with food. I don’t obsess about them because I know they will always be there, and I can always have them if I really want them.
3. Take a couple bites and stop.
I’m a foodie. I love food. However, I realize that I don’t necessarily need to indulge in everything. A practice that really works for me is sampling. As I mentioned earlier, I really enjoy doughnuts, gourmet doughnuts to be exact. One of my favorite things to do when I’m in a new city is seek out the coolest doughnut shop and pick a few to try. I typically take 1-2 small bites of each doughnuts and really savor and enjoy it. Then the leftovers go in the garbage. No biggie.
You can apply this principle to anything. If you really want something, two to three bites will usually satisfy the craving. I think it’s easy for us to fall into the trap that we have to eat the whole thing because that’s what we’re used to doing. But if you are mindful when you’re eating, you realize that your craving is typically satisfied after a couple of bites, and you’re fine leaving the rest behind.
4. Give yourself permission to not be perfect.
Perfectionism sucks. Please do yourself a favor and stop trying to be perfect because it’s unattainable. That being said, give yourself a break. Moderation takes practice. All the concepts discussed above take practice. I’ll still working on all of these. Realize that messing up is not the end of the world. So you tried to practice the couple of bites approach with your favorite cheesecake and you ended up eating the whole thing; trust me, it’s not the end of the world. I’ve been there and done that. Don’t wallow in self-pity and guilt. Just decide to move on. The more your practice, the easier it gets.
I struggled with restricting dieting and food obsession for quite some time, and have even tried a few “quick fix” diets. True me, it’s mentally draining. All I thought about is what I could or could not eat, and it drove me nuts. I’m still not perfect by any means, but much better than I used to be. For me, this approach to eating creates lifelong habits you can live with and live by. I never feel deprived or guilty about my food choices. I no longer stress or obsess about food either. Not restricting has given me the freedom to have a healthy relationship with food, and because of that, I no longer have the need for a “quick fix” diet.
I’m passionate about spreading the message that “quick fixes” and restrictions are not the way to a sustainable lifestyle, and I’m tired of the fitness industry preying on people’s emotions with promises of losing 10 pounds in 10 days. This is one of the many reasons I created #FitTribe Coaching. I’m here to spread the truth and help women create simple, sustainable weight loss and lifestyles.
#FitTribe Coaching is a super high access monthly group coaching program created for women who have a busy lifestyle, are committed to prioritizing their health, and who want quick and efficient workouts to maximize their fat loss and their results. It’s for women who are looking for consistency, motivation, encouragement, and guidance with their fitness, nutrition, and mindset. It’s for women who want to be part of a community of like-minded women who encourage one another, cheer each other on, and have each other’s backs.
All the info you need to sign up for #FitTribe Coaching is HERE. Registration closes THIS Saturday, November 5th at midnight! Don’t miss out on finding your tribe!
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