How many times have you started the New Year trying the latest diets, detoxes, cleanses, or diet challenge to lose weight? How did it go for you?
I’m going to be so bold as to guess that if you’re reading this, it didn’t do the trick.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I did those things, I started out with the hope that this latest fad diet or diet by another name was going to be the magic solution to my weight problem. But they never were. Ever.
Does this sound familiar? You’re super gung-ho for the first few days, maybe even a week or two, and really stick with it. Maybe you even lost a few pounds.
Then you went off it. Why? Because it just wasn’t sustainable. It didn’t fit your life.
Or maybe you stayed on it for the prescribed period of time, lost 5 or 10 pounds, then went back to eating the way you did before. The way you ate that caused you to gain weight in the first place. You gained all the weight back, right? And maybe a few more pounds too.
Therein lies the problem. Cleanses, diet challenges and detoxes have you eat a certain way for a limited period of time. That’s why they are a waste of time as a weight loss tool.* They don’t teach you how to live and eat after the challenge is over.
Personally, I don’t want to give up sugar or carbs. I’m a foodie, and making delicious food is one of my creative outlets, so I cook and eat the foods I love.
I also question pretty much all rules and rebel against stupid ones. And those hyper-structured diets are a virtual rule fest. Some of the rules contradict one another from one diet to the next. Rules like:
- No carbs
- No sugar or flour
- Only eat between noon and 8:00 p.m.
- Don’t eat any fat
- Drink a ton of fat in your coffee instead of eating breakfast
- Drink only lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne for ___ days
- Eat a grapefruit or drink apple cider vinegar before every meal
- Eat only protein, fat & certain vegetables (I actually blacked out on that one years ago!)
- Eat 500 calories a day two days a week, and whatever you want on the other days
- Eat only alkaline foods
You get the idea. A lot of “don’t evers” and “you musts.” I mean, how do you go to dinner at a friend’s house and eat a carb-free meal? Or bring your own apple cider vinegar to a restaurant to swill before you eat? C’mon.
I personally never felt any better when I did one of those cleanses or diets or detoxes because I was eating healthy foods before I went on them anyway. I was just eating too much! And for the wrong reasons. Sometimes, these regimens actually made me feel a lot worse.
But plenty of people out there are willing to do crazy, even downright unhealthy, things to lose weight. I know. I used to be one of them.
Now think about the people you know who are slim but don’t diet. Do they never eat sugar or flour? Of course not! They eat WHATEVER THEY REALLY LIKE!
The difference between them and you is how much they eat and why. They don’t eat because they’re stressed out or bored or are trying to avoid their emotions. They eat when they’re hungry and they stop before they feel stuffed. They are in touch with their bodies’ signals and listen to them when deciding when and what to eat.
The thing is that real life requires flexibility because it is unpredictable. That’s why these restrictive fads don’t work over the long term.
Avoid any way of eating that you can’t do while living the kind of life you want to live. Like if you’re training to run a 10K or otherwise exercise vigorously daily, you can’t eat only 500 calories a day. It’s crazy to even try. Again, I know because I DID try, and it made me lightheaded and sick.
Avoid anything that promises you a quick fix to your weight issues. Because quick fixes never work in the long run.
Losing weight requires you to change your eating habits, and that takes time.
So this year, do yourself a favor and avoid anything that requires you to follow strict rules about what to eat for a set number of days.
If you want to lose weight for good, I’d love to teach you how to eat the way naturally slim people do. I still have some openings for January to work with me one-on-one. You can sign up here for a free consultation to learn more. Or you can join my Weight Loss for Foodies group which starts next month. Get on the list to be notified when registration opens here.
If you want to get started on your own, check out my free 8 Secrets for Permanent Weight Loss Guide for tips on how to lose weight without all the diets and cleanses.
*I’m only referring to using detoxes or cleanses for the purpose of losing weight. Some people find them useful for other health reasons.