Do you want to lose weight? Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t go on a diet this year.
Losing weight is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions
One of the top three New Year resolutions around the world is, you’ve guessed it, losing weight. We tend to feel a little…mmm…pudgy after Christmas which comes along with an urgent need to ‘sort our bodies out’. Rings a bell?
The fact is that while the festive season may have weakened our sense of restraint around indulgent foods, I think it’s fair to say that the excess weight we feel didn’t come from December alone.
How long do we tend to keep it?
We are all different but we still share many points in common like, starting off the year eating healthier than we ended the last, feeling motivated to get into fitness, keen to ditch habits like smoking or excessive drinking, etc. And yet, UK studies suggest that for nearly 50% per cent of the population, these popular health resolutions will last less than a month and only 20% will carry on beyond March! Definitely food for thought…
Why a January diet won’t help you reach your health goal
The problem with extremes is that you are either on a diet or you’re over-indulging. Study after study have shown that ‘psychological deprivation, induced by short periods of caloric restriction, is enough to trigger overeating and increase hunger.’
Dieting is all about guilt
You’re either obsessing with the food you can’t have or feeling guilty about the food you did have. It’s emotionally unhealthy and will make your life, especially the social aspects of it, an endless series of painful calculations.
No sustainable weight loss
Going back to the idea of extremes, most popular diets out there aren’t tailored to individual needs. What this means is that the majority of dieters will end up significantly cutting back on their calorie intake which they can handle, but only for a couple of weeks. Having felt deprived for an extended period of time, the moment you’re off a diet or just fall off the wagon, the urge to binge on the foods you’ve been denying yourself becomes too great and the weight you lost quickly makes its come back, often with a few extra pounds.
Constantly worrying about what you eat, deprivation, craving food, feeling irritable on top of juggling everything else in your life is hard work.
Food is a symptom
We know that overeating leads to weight gain just like we know that we should eat rich foods in moderation and yet, we still end up ignoring these seemingly simple guidelines. But why? There are obviously exceptions but for many of us, eating is a source of comfort and that is a habit that can’t be broken by dieting.
For more insights on breaking the habit of using food for comfort and emotional eating, check out my book STUFFED: how to feel so good about yourself you won’t have room for cake.