Why do most weight loss diets fail?
I’m betting you already have an answer right at the tip of your tongue.
As a matter of fact, if you happen to have a long and colorful diet history as I do, then I’m certain of it.
Let me guess. Your answer to the question, why do most diets fail? Hunger?
Yup. Number one.
It’s just not natural!
Most diets fail, frankly, because they ask that we limit the quantity of food we eat. We end up feeling hungry – and deprived – most of the time.
Or we’re good to go for a day or two until our hunger deepens, the storage vat from the last binge is depleted, or something else comes along that interrupts our necessary focus on the steely resolve to stick to our diet.
No wonder we abandon our best intentions and dive into the brownie batter.
Between you and me, I’m embarrassed to say how many times I’ve scrimped on calories in the morning, gone out and ran 5 or so miles, only to polish off a bowl of cookie dough in the afternoon.
This painful scene played itself out over and over again over the course of several years.
Decades even. No wonder I couldn’t lose weight.
Hunger is our primary survival drive.
Denying hunger – ignoring, suppressing, or trying to distract ourselves from it – is doomed to fail.
It is just a matter of time.
To deny our hunger drive takes enormous effort, energy, steely determination, understandably, all of our attention. If you have dieted before, you know how focused you have to be to manage the details and hunger of dieting when you are simply trying to limit your calories, right?!)
This results in pain and misery for the dieter. The diet is quickly abandoned as weight loss and body-shaping goals lose their importance in the face of growing hunger and depletion of vitality.
Yet knowing that it is, bottom line, all about the calories, is there any possible way to create the calorie deficit necessary for us to lose weight without being deathly hungry all the time?
It’s all in the food selection
In developed countries, with our access to all quantities of rich edibles, people are overweight because we eat so many foods that are extremely calorie dense, such as refined and processed grains, meat, milk, cheese, vegetable oils, and huge handfuls of roasted and nuts.
Because these foods are so concentrated in energy, it is next to impossible for us to eat them without consuming an excess of calories.
When you replace this disastrous menu with high fiber starchy vegetables, whole grains, high water-content vegetables, beans and legumes, and fruits – a plant-strong diet – you jack up the amount of food you can consume without overextending your calorie limit.
And you spare yourself the agony of addling your brain by constantly counting, weighing, and measuring to keep your calories under control. Your appetite is your guide.
Can you tell I speak from experience? Some day I’ll have to show you my stacks of ‘diet’ journal archives with intricately tracked carbs, protein, fat, and calories in a futile effort to keep my weight managed in the face of hunger.
Fullness and satiety come from the bulk and nutrition in the belly
Remember, fiber is an essential nutrient. Eating fiber-full foods with the least processing possible is a perfect match for our need to have a full belly while still being able to slip into our favorite jeans.
Then, you can enjoy the richer fare on special occasions without the impossible burden of having to go hungry every single day to keep your weight under control.
OK, I’m betting this is not the first time you’ve heard this. You may even be saying “I know that!”
The question is, are you doing it?
Remember, your trail to trimmer, healthier, and a more energetic you begins with your next breath, your next bite.
In each instant, your life can change. A transformation can begin or take another step to unfolding.
Take action today with what you eat. Make your diet a success by avoiding the hunger trap.
It’s a wonderful way to live. Keep up your great work with staying well fed, keep your arsenal of high quality foods well supplied, and watch your body change.