First and foremost-a short diet disclaimer. I am still overweight (though I’ve lost 24 pounds in the past 10 months). Although I have done this, it was not a result of any particular diet program or structured diet philosophy. I had not subscribed to any “program” to accomplish this. I have now found a program that closely mirrors what I have done.
The purpose of this article, however, is to discuss the reasons that we all tend to fall off, fail, or otherwise quit diets and find ourselves on a course to ever larger clothing sizes.
In the very first analysis, we’ve become comfortable in our eating indulgences. The mental game is the beginning. We don’t want to change-we think we should. We are at odds with ourselves from the beginning.
In addition, without our even realizing it, the food industry is deliberately abetting our habits–even “creating” them. Is there a reason we eat more now than we ever did in the past? And exercise? Forget about it! It’s obvious some change is necessary.
Now factor in the food industry and its tactics to get us to indulge even more-some of those tactics are not even fully understood. It’s easy, for example, to see the increase in advertising, but not as readily apparent are the generally “addictive” effects of the ingredients they add to the foods we eat.
Most of the additives are bad, but the most notorious are the sugars, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and sucrose. All of these make us think we are still hungry, while creating only fat–the body does not use these sugars for energy.
Our consumption of these sugars is rising every year, adding extra weight to our bodies. And because they are in virtually everything we eat, they are nearly impossible to avoid.
We are not just gaining weight, though. Along with the extra pounds, we are experiencing more and more diet and nutrition related illnesses. Heart disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, depression, allergies, and diabetes are all related to or directly linked to our diet and the amount of sugar we eat. The increase in these maladies closely mirrors the rise in the amount of these sugars used in our foods. Ironically, we are losing our health to the very things that we eat to maintain our health!
Since dieting is not our favorite activity in the first place, and most all foods are suspect (including diet foods), what do we do? How are we going to lose those extra pounds and reverse the trend of gaining more every year. How did I accomplish my weight loss?
Here’s the gist of it: too many soft drinks, too much late night snacking, and too little paying attention to how much I was eating. Water, as boring as that can be, replaced the soft drinks, and the snacking wasn’t too hard to quit–not easy, by any means, but not impossible–and the pastries I love so much… well, let’s just say I haven’t seen many lately.
It didn’t take very long–only a couple of weeks–before I started to see promising results. From there I progressed to scrutinizing everything I bought, reducing as much refined sugar as possible. I’m not done yet, still a couple dozen pounds to go, but I have lost a couple of pants sizes.
You see, the very nature of diets makes them failure-prone. They are mostly restrictive of certain nutrition essentials, and the very idea of dieting is short-term, at best. Very few people start a diet with the idea that it’s going to be a major life change and it’s forever.
Some of these diets will show promising results, some don’t. Everyone’s body is different. Two things are common though: your body will need some of the “missing” nutrition, causing cravings; and you will get very tired of the diet you’re on.
The chances of quitting a diet and not regaining the lost pounds, if any, are slim. And in most cases, because previous eating habits are resumed, even more weight is gained than before you started.
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