The Twinkie Diet, The Sleeping Beauty Diet, The Cigarette Diet (I mean, who comes up with this stuff?), The Baby Food Diet...the list goes on and on. I'm actually pretty surprised I never got my hands on one of these at some point.
I think we can all agree that smoking cigarettes in order to suppress our appetite and lose weight is probably not the healthiest, most sustainable form of weight loss. In fact, it's doing way more harm than good.
These are pretty outlandish examples but the point is the same.
We are wired to believe that if a weight loss method is hard-core, it must be effective.
The bigger the risk the bigger the reward, right? I think that's lazy thinking.
When we think rebelliously like that, we're overlooking one of the simplest and most common-sense barriers to lasting change...if it's torture to execute, it's going to be torture to maintain. Whatever results we get will most likely come back over time, if not immediately.
I overheard some ladies talking over coffee recently and the conversation blew my mind. One of them was about to go on a cleanse in which she could only drink juice for 10 days. She was doing this to get back on track and lose 15-20 pounds, she said.
Her friend was supportive at first, but then asked a great question. She said "Well I don't know, Bridget...but if the weight comes off that quickly, won't it come back on just as fast?".
But, Bridget answered with a glimmer of hope in her eye, "Well, I just figure, if I'm finally down that weight I've been trying to lose for FOREVER, I'll feel so much better about myself and I won't make stupid decisions to gain it back!".
This is the thinking of a weight-loser (I say that in the nicest way possible, just a silly play on words!), so focused on the green grass on the other side, she's not thinking through the fact that she's actually not thinking for herself one bit on this juice cleanse. She's putting a bandaid on her weight loss goal, the same bandaid she'll need to use over and over again when the weight comes back on. Only, over time, the adhesive gets worn and worn on that bandaid until she'll find the next big thing that will be the magic pill because she couldn't keep repeating the juice cleanse unsuccessfully over time.
Have you ever thought this way?
Believe me, I lived the life of a weight-loser for a really long time. I gained and lost the same 20-25 lbs over and over and over again...to the point where I had everything from a size 2 to a size 10 in my closet...just in case. I jumped from plan to plan to plan to plan, doing what most people do, searching for "the magic pill" diet that was going to stick for me. One that just made total sense and I could maintain forever.
I don't know about you but I can't live on only grapefruit and PB the rest of my life. LOL.
There's two levels of "weight-losers", IMO.
There's the 1.0 version: those of us who follow grapefruit and PB diets, crossing our fingers in the hopes that this combination of foods really does stir up a perfect chemical reaction that makes weight just melt off, like the inventors would make us believe.
And, there's the 2.0 version: those who follow more well-researched diets like The South Beach, Atkins, Hornish, etc. to the letter, complying with every single rule, eliminating "not approved foods", eating "approved ones" and moving their bodies in productive ways along with eating right to get great results.
I like 2.0. And I got lots of great results on 2.0. But, even these great results didn't last because I still was not thinking for myself following all those rules.
It wasn't until I moved from a weight-loser to a "fat-burner" that I got the best benefit of them all...I began to think for myself.
(Click here to begin thinking for yourself in my upcoming Busy But Burnin' online fitness and fat loss coaching group which is now open for enrollment).
9 STEPS TO STOP FAD DIETING FOR GOOD:
1. DON'T ACT insane.
2. LISTEN TO YOUR HUNGER, ENERGY AND CRAVINGS (HEC).
When we follow weight loss diet meal plans, we are typically following one-sized-fits-all meal planning, which leaves very little up for personalization. When we force a meal plan on ourselves that isn't realistic to maintain for our body and lifestyle...it's unsustainable.
3. go for guides not rules.
3. Stop the "more is more" attitude.
5. KNOW THAT IF IT'S TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT IS.
6. FIND YOUR CARB TIPPING POINT.
7. WORRY ABOUT THE BIG ROCKS.
8. vALUE SLOW AND STEADY OVER IMMEDIATE.