Just stop it! It doesn’t work! How many times have you started on some stupid diet that restricts what you eat like the police ruining a good frat party? How many times have you drastically cut out the calories only to lose a few pounds? Then crack and jump head first into a food orgy! Or you actually diet somewhat successfully and reward yourself with a cheat meal which turns into a cheat day which turns into a cheat week which turns into a cheat month which turns into your ass being fatter than ever.
Why do People Fail at Dieting?
Where do people go wrong in their conquest to lose weight? The problem is we are always our worst enemy. We have been programmed to crave sugar, sweets, burgers, pizza, tacos, and ice cream. We think that a little bit of exercise and eating healthy for a week deserves a reward. That is the problem! People need to stop treating food as a reward! People need to stop thinking of exercise as punishment! Humans are supposed to move and eat a variety of foods.
Mikey Likes It!
Mikey loves carbs and all of sudden decides he wants to get shredded so he is cutting out carbs. Mikey tells himself he is never eating a carb again. He goes on the Internet and reads all about Ketosis and brainwashes himself into hating carbs. Mikey goes to the grocery store and buys all meat, cheese, green veggies, and oils. A few days go by and Mikey feels like absolute sh*t. His energy sucks and he is tired and cranky. The weekend comes and Mikey has a family event to go to. Guess what? The food choices are mostly carbs. Go figure! Mikey stresses about food and doesn’t know if he should eat or not because it doesn’t fit into his diet. Eventually he dives head first into grandma’s pasta and eats a Cheescake Factory portion because he is so hungry! Later at night he realizes how much he loves carbs. He searches the kitchen cabinets like a bear searching through trash for food. What happens next is far from pretty. He wakes up the next morning questioning some of life’s choices and doesn’t know what to do. He eventually goes back to eating whatever he wants and never achieves his goal of being shredded.
Where did Mikey go wrong? He didn’t have a plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Like most dieters he dove headfirst into a diet plan without thinking it through. He didn’t slowly cut his carbs and up his fat to transition to a new eating style. Or perhaps Mikey would have done much better with an eating style that allowed him to still enjoy the foods he liked while making progress in the mirror. You know something called “moderation”.
Restricting Leads to Binge Eating
For example, you may have a daily calorie maintenance of 2,000 calories. You decide you want to lose some weight so you cut your calories down to 1,500. Why? Because the Internet said so. You start eating some healthy foods that you haven’t eaten since you wanted to look good in a bathing suit 10 years ago. You hate these foods! In fact, if you have to eat one more salad you going to tear your hair out and run through the streets shouting obscenities until the police put you in the paddy wagon. Or the more likely scenario you get so hungry that you eat a whole bag of Oreos and lay on the floor in shameful regret. Now all that progress you made has been wiped away in one gluttonous evening.
F*cks Should be Earned, Not Handed Out Generously
In a more politically correct terminology: Stop caring about what other people think! One thing that absolutely annoys me and probably you is when someone comments on your eating habits. “You should eat more”, “What is the matter aren’t you hungry” “You shouldn’t eat that”, “I read on some website that you shouldn’t eat that 24 oz steak, because red meat is bad”. Why do adults care about what other adults are eating so much? We are not talking about a parent trying to get a toddler to eat their broccoli here. If someone tells you what to eat tell them to go shove their opinion where the sun doesn’t shine and do what you want.
When I was younger and it was time for me drink a protein shake in school or at work I used to try to do it so discretely you would think I was having an affair with my shaker. Why? I was eating healthy. Because I hated it so much when people asked me “what is that”. Me: “It is my mother f***ing food dude” was what I wanted to say, but I am a bit nicer than that. Person: “Oh what brand of protein do you use bro”? Me: “I don’t know whatever is on sale, because it is basically the same and I am too lazy to cook”. Person: “Oh I use musclemass protein 40000 bro, it is awesome”. In my head “I don’t really care”, but say “Oh awesome dude it looks like it is really working for you” sarcastically as possible.
Or the even worse situation. “OMG you drink protein shakes? Are you on steroids? Steroids are bad for you!” Those are the kind of comments that made me want to hit the reset button on humanity. Thankfully, I have evolved to smiling and nodding and forgiving people for their stupidity.
Small Decisions Lead to Long-Term Success
Well first you need to tell yourself food is not a reward or punishment. Everyone should be able to say those words. Believe it or not food exists for energy instead of pleasure. However, through creativity people have transformed food into pleasure. That is both good and bad depending on one’s discipline level.
You can’t go from eating a candy bar a day to eating like a professional fitness model overnight. That is like being a pack-a-day smoker to giving it up forever. That might work for some, but won’t for most.
Small steps in the right direction will lead to a lifetime of good decisions. When it comes down to it your weight is about your personal decisions. Nobody else is to blame for the way you look with your shirt off. Nobody else is going to take that double cheeseburger out of your hand give you celery. The choice is 100% yours.
Instead of trying to conquer the world in a day, why not replace the unhealthy foods with healthy foods one at a time. Start with cutting out sugar and replacing with protein. A Snickers Bar contains 250 calories. A chicken breast, broccoli, and baked potato also contain 250 calories. Which 250 calories is better for you? The problem with junk food is it doesn’t satisfy you. You keep eating more and more and more because it doesn’t contain calorie dense nutrients that fill you up. You just get a temporary fix like a junkie taking a hit.
Excercise Discipline with Common Sense
You are at work and one of your wonderful co-workers who happens to be an awesome baker brings brownies for the office. Your on a diet so you politely say “sorry I am on a diet” and hurt her feelings. Who I am kidding? You probably say “Can I have 5 because those things are amazing”. The point is you can induldge yourself a little while still acheiving your weightloss goals. One brownie is not going to set you back 20 pounds. In fact, you might be better having that one brownie now then denying it and craving it all day, then you hit your favorite bakery on the way home and go crazy.
You Gotta Experiment
We are not talking about the kind of experimenting you did in college. There are many different eating styles out there that work. Notice how I said “eating styles” and not dieting. If you try one style and you know you can’t do it long-term than move on to another.
You have to find foods that give you what you need in terms on nutrition and taste. Any fruit is going to be healthier than candy and they both offer something for your sweet tooth. Chicken breast can be flavored about 9 million different ways. Sweet potatoes are good enough for pie so why can’t they be used as part of a healthy meal. Look up recipes on the Internet or in a cookbook. I like to try at least one different recipe every week to mix things up.
The Grand Finale
Find something that works for you. Make changes for yourself. Don’t do it for anyone else. You are not impressing anyone by not eating a carb for 6 years. In truth you are not impressing anyone by losing a few pounds either. If someone says it looks like you lost weight what they are really saying is “congrats you are less fat than you used to be”, but they don’t want to hurt your feelings.
If you don’t know where to start…….8 weeks to changing your life