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Why diets don't make you healthier (and 3 things that do)

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

'Dieting' is generally built on the premise of getting dramatic results fast. The concept is undeniably appealing, but if something seems too good to be true, in this context it definitely is. I emphatically encourage you to give anyone promising you "wash-board abs in 6 weeks" or anything remotely similar a very, very wide berth.

Here's the facts. The only way to lose significant weight quickly is by significantly slashing your calorie intake. Whether that is achieved through calorie counting, limiting carbohydrate, limiting fat, fasting, consuming nothing but celery juice seasoned with the salt of your own tears, the aim is the same. Significant (and entirely unsustainable FYI) restriction. You might see results quickly but you'll probably find yourself right back where you started just as quickly as soon as the period of restriction is over.

'Dieting' as it is described above is dangerous, counterproductive for health and works to perpetuate negative body image. The diet industry profits on our unquenchable thirst for perfection and our subsequent attraction to quick fixes. They employ obnoxious rhetoric like 'beach ready' and 'bikini body' to play on our insecurities and encourage the belief these things aren't already in our possession. I'm here to tell you that they are. The minute we start loving our bodies as they are and prioritising health (rather than just weight-loss) these guys are out of business. Please, don't allow them to profit from your unhappiness.

I'm not saying you can't have weight loss goals. For some it's perfectly valid, especially if those goals are intrinsically linked to an improvement in general health or athletic performance. What I am saying, however, is that we need to change the methodology we employ to achieve those goals. In working with clients towards weight loss goals, there are a few core things that I help to develop:

1) Prioritise health, not the arbitrary number you see on the scale.

2) Learn the basics of nutrition* and how to eat optimally in a way that is nourishing, enjoyable and sustainable.

3) Appreciate your body and all that it does for you now, even if you haven't reached your goal just yet.

In my experience working with clients, and working through my own weird food issues, these core principals are the key to sustainable results. Not only do they help to improve your physical health, they also nod to mental health helping to improve the relationship we have both with food and our bodies.

If you want to learn a bit more about nutrition and coaching services then get in touch!

*a bit of a broad one, I know! But something I will cover more in a future blog post. I know you don't want to be reading this article FOREVER.

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