Why Diets Don't Work (and what to do instead)
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One of my favorite quotes is "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is."
This is a great way to describe dieting.
You see, dieting falls into 2 categories.
1) They don't work at all
2) They work for a little and then they don't
Simply put, diets just don't work, especially long-term.
Before we get into why, let's discuss what a diet is.
The definition of a diet is: a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.
The key word in that definition is "restricts", but more on that later.
Some well known diets are the Keto Diet, Atkins Diet, Paleo Diet, Nutrisystem and South Beach Diet.
Let's look at the example of the Keto diet.
Their restriction tool is carbohydrates. The Keto diet restricts carbs from your diet like sugars, breads, fruits, and starches in order to restrict calories. By essentially eliminating an entire food group, you in-turn eat less calories and lose weight.
The problem is this restriction only works for so long.
We only have so much will-power to give up the foods we love before we give in. You see, will-power works like a battery. It only has so much life to it before it's out of power. The more we need to use our will-power, the quicker it runs out.
And once we give in, we're back to square one.
Most people who start these diets see some weight loss initially (if they can stay on it long enough) but then often times end up putting the weight back on, and then some!
And the research agrees.
A group of UCLA researchers analyzed 31 long-term diet studies. Participants on these various diets stayed on them for 2 to 5 years.
Some people lost weight in the beginning, but only 5-10% of their body-weight.
The result? The majority of people regained all of their weight, plus some.
The health benefits of dieting like decreasing blood pressure and disease risk? None.
In fact, researchers believe they would have been better off not dieting at all from the stress of losing weight and putting it back on. The yo-yo effect of dieting actually can increase our risk of disease.
Other research has shown that 90-95% of people who start traditional diets put the weight they lose back and and then some.
So, where is the disconnect?
Why are people unsuccessful at dieting? Why is dieting such a poor choice for long-term success?
Let's get into why diets aren't working and what we're doing instead here at DSC!
Let's go back to that key word in the definition of diet -- restricts.
Those who go on diets sometimes see success early in the program.
The reason of this is restriction.
Low or no carbs -- restriction.
Low fat -- restriction.
Low calorie -- restriction.
These deficits in certain foods work for a short time mainly through a drastic drop in calories and we see weight loss.
But how do we feel?
Ask anyone on a diet how they feel and you'll hear words like:
It's only a matter of time before we lose our will power and give into temptation.
We find ourselves yet again, back at square one.
Our Nutrition Coaching Program doesn't deprive or starve you of anything. In fact, it encourages you to enjoy the food you love but in a way that aligns with your long-term goals.
"The coaches opened my eyes to the fact that I was actually eating too little to lose weight. I wasn't fueling my body to burn fat. I learned how to be conscious of the foods I am eating without feeling deprived." - Sarah
"Yes you can lose weight and still love the food you eat. My total weight loss with DSC Nutrition Coaching Program is 34lbs and counting!" - Stacey
"I can honestly say I was never hungry or felt deprived of anything during the program. I am already down 20lbs and gained 2.5lbs of muscle!" - Linda
2| No support/accountability
So you're ready to start your new diet.
You have your new book and meal plan.
It's just you and the program. And that is the problem.
Where do you turn for guidance and support?
Who is there checking in, seeing how things are going and making sure you are working toward your goals?
This is one of the major issues with diets. There is no help. There is no support system. It's you and you alone.
This is exactly why we created our Group Nutrition Coaching Program.
The group aspect creates an overwhelming amount of positive motivation and allows our members to share questions, ideas, recipes and help and support each other.
The coaches hold you accountable, keep you on task and working toward your goals.
This winning combination of support and accountability is crucial for the success of our members.
"What helped me the most were the weekly check-ins with my assigned DSC nutrition coach. I wanted to show progress each week, so that was motivating. Then I started to see real changes! In just 8 weeks, I lost 15 pounds and 2.5% body fat!" - Jen
"The weekly check-ins with the coaches were also very helpful! Getting their personalized, direct feedback and guidance was huge and I really knew they were rooting for me to succeed every step of the way! In just 8-weeks, I lost 20 pounds and 2 pant sizes with DSC's Nutrition Coaching!" - Mary
What diets fail to realize is that people don't do well with massive changes like overhauling your entire nutrition.
Imagine going from eating one way all or most of your life and changing everything in one day.
Talk about a recipe for failure as we get overwhelmed and quit.
Habit research has backed this up for years as studies show we are much more likely to adapt to change or a new habit when we take it on one at a time.
After taking on that new habit or change it takes mindfulness, repetition and time for it to stick.
This is the cornerstone of our program as 40-45% of our decisions each day are the result of our habits.
We set our members up for success by tackling small, manageable habit changes that have a BIG impact on your daily progress.
Instead of completely changing our member's nutrition like most diets do, we introduce weekly, sustainable habits like meal prep, grocery shopping, proper hydration and eating correctly around your workouts.
Our members simply learn the habits, use them and solidify them as they work towards their nutritional goals.
Each week, a new habit is introduced and they continue to build off the previous weeks.
4| No education
One of the biggest reasons why diets do not work is that they fail to educate.
Diets neglect to arm their participants with knowledge needed to make continual progress.
What do you do once the diet is over?
How do you make the right choices when you're on the go or at a dinner party?
How do you enjoy the foods you love without sabotaging your progress or quitting all together?
How do you eat to improve your workout performance?
How do you eat to feel better and have more energy?
This leaves dieters confused, frustrated and destined for failure.
Instead, our program takes a life-long approach to educating our members leading to lasting results.
We arm them with the right habits and knowledge so when they leave the program, they have the skills and tools to make their own choices and keep progressing towards their goals.
"This wasn’t a diet – this was changing the way you eat, creating good eating habits, and making better eating choices. I added more/new vegetables to my diet, meal prepped (hello kitchen!), and learned about fighting fat with good fats.
During this program alone, I lost 18 lbs!" - Karin
"I have done Weight Watchers before and this program worked so much better for me because it also taught me the "why" behind making better food choices. Not just eat this or that, but actually understanding the differences. In just 8-weeks, I lost 20 pounds and 2 pant sizes with DSC's Nutrition Coaching!" - Mary
What to do instead.
Our New Year Nutrition Challenge is the anti-diet.
It's not built off fads, quick fixes or magic pills.
It's not restrictive, overwhelming, or unsupportive.
You are not alone.
Instead, our Nutrition Challenge is built off support, nutritional science, and lifelong habits that work.
It's about having a better relationship with and a better understanding of food.
It's about having the proper guidance, support and accountability, allowing you to have the body and health you deserve.
It's about YOU and lasting results!
So how does our New Year Online Nutrition & Fitness Challenge work?
We start by setting you up with one of our nutrition coaches.
From there, it's all about getting to know you and your specific goals.
We want to know about your past nutritional accomplishments or struggles to best serve you!
This is all done online at your convenience.
Then the program begins.
We work with you to:
1st - Learn exactly how to eat for your goals
As we said earlier, weight-loss is about being in a calorie deficit, meaning we need to be consistent with eating less calories than we are expending.
Typically our members enter our program either over-eating or drastically under-eating, both of which have a negative effect on your health and weight.
Our coaches will teach you how to eat the right amount of foods (carbs, proteins, and fats) each day to get you moving towards your goals.
Imagine knowing you're eating the right foods and the right amounts of those foods to lose weight and feel great!
Research has shown the average person underestimates their calorie intake by 40-60%!
That means most of us think we're eating less calories than we're burning but we're most often eating in a surplus, therefore gaining or maintaining our weight.
Our coaches will make sure you're right on target and eating the right amounts of food for you!
No more guesswork!
2nd - Build lasting nutritional habits
Did you know nearly half of the things we do are done out of habit. Yes, we do them without even thinking about it.
If about half of our nutritional choices are out of habit think about the changes we can make to our weight-loss by changing our daily habits.
Imagine removing the poor nutrition habits that lead to poor planning, unhealthy foods, and over-eating, and replacing them with habits that get you to make healthy eating EASY and CONSISTENT!
We first work to become aware of those poor nutritional habits that are causing us to overeat like eating because we're bored, tired, or stressed or other habits like snacking too much, drinking sodas, or eating too fast.
Then we arm our members with better nutritional habits like:
How to eat for fat-loss
How to build balanced meals
How to eat before and after your workouts
How to meal prep and plan ahead
How to eat mindfully -- not because you're bored or stressed
How to stay on track on the weekends, holidays, and when you're out to dinner
Proper hydration and MUCH MORE!
Our mission is to end weight loss frustration!
To provide the guidance, education, and support for you to eat better and feel your best
And finally, to complete our program with the skills and knowledge to continue to see incredible progress for the long haul.
"I have more energy and know that joining DSC's Nutrition Coaching was the best thing I could have for done for myself. One of the biggest things I think I gained from the program was the education. Learning about carbs, fats and proteins, and learning to measure my food and control portion sizes had a huge impact on me." - Donna (down 31lbs!)
"Knowing what to eat was always a struggle for me. I tried to eat healthy, but I’ve realized since joining the DSC Nutrition Program that I really didn’t know what “healthy” eating even meant. I ate too many carbs, not enough protein, and definitely too many desserts. Protein, protein, protein was a game changer for me! The coaches helped me learn exactly how much protein, fat, and carbs I should be eating every day!" - Jen (Down 20lbs!)
"The Nutrition Program truly is wonderful! It provides you with excellent guidance from both the coaches and the many wonderful accountability partners also in the program. I've lost 38 pounds, 4 inches off my waist, 2 inches off my hips and reduced my body fat by over 10%! I feel great and my energy in the gym is much better!" - Steve (down 38lbs!)