• Jissette Nieves

The Weight Loss Deception

Why dieting doesn’t work


Diets aren’t new, of course, and they’ll likely never go away. There’s plenty to choose from, too: Weight Watchers, the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Paleo Diet, Whole30, the Keto Diet, Intermittent Fasting, etc., the list goes on and on. The differences between these diet types are immeasurable, but they all have one thing in common: they require the dieter to put their own intuition in the back seat.


To follow these diets "correctly", you must let go of your hunger cues and stop listening to what your body is trying to tell you. Instead, you’re obligated to stick to the strict set of rules that probably promise to “not be strict”. Our bodies simply aren’t made to sustain long-term significant weight loss because, more often than not, it’s not in our best interests. Dieting goes against a lot of the intuition that our bodies have developed over centuries of evolution.


Food is such a powerful way to bring nourishment and joy into our lives.


Unfortunately, so many diets are really strict, rigid, and completely ignore this “life/joy” element. And it can make you feel as if cooking is a chore. It can make your meals feel unsatisfying (both on a hunger level and also an emotional level). And cause you to view food only as a means to an end.


Under-eating or eating according to a certain diet schedule also interferes with your body’s natural hunger and satiety cues.


This can make you more prone to eating when not hungry. Ignoring hunger cues and becoming overly hungry increase the risk of binge eating. That's because the body is desperately seeking food.


Our bodies simply aren’t made to sustain long-term significant weight loss because, more often than not, it’s not in our best interests. Dieting goes against a lot of the intuition that our bodies have developed over centuries of evolution.

Here’s a couple reasons why diets don’t work:


Dieting damages your relationship with food

You don’t need studies to tell you that this is true — you’ve experienced it yourself! When we’re on a diet, we struggle to understand what it means to approach food in a natural, intuitive way. You don’t learn how to truly nourish yourself. Instead, you’re in a constant push-pull between wanting to lose weight and learning how to feed yourself to support your body’s (desires/needs).


Dieting causes your metabolism to slow down

That means that any calories you do eat are used more efficiently. This makes it not only harder to lose weight, but much easier to gain it back. And it’s gained back primarily as fat — which simply isn’t most folks’ goal with a diet in the first place.


Diets are often missing important nutrients that are essential to health

Miss out on these nutrients for too long (including on many popular diet programs that you may think are safe) and you’ll likely find yourself less than healthy. This can also cause weight gain. Having nothing to do with calories, but everything to do with the body’s attempt to take care of itself by getting the vitamins and minerals that it needs.


Diets slow down weight loss

It does seem counterintuitive that when working our hardest to shed pounds, our body is working against us, but it’s true. This is because our body experiences dieting as a stressor. When we’re stressed, we produce high-levels of cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones).


These hormones cause our body to slow down the rate at which we burn calories. Our body is intentionally slowing down our weight loss efforts, because it perceives our reduced calorie intake as a threat to survival. And all our body is trying to do is keep us alive and as healthy as it can, every day, all day long.


Diets are one-size-fits-all — they don’t take into consideration your unique body and life

You end up following rules you think you “should” be doing, without actually evaluating what you need in your life and why. This can make it very difficult for you to integrate into your life, it can cause you to feel drained of energy or feeling like you lack motivation.


In addition, you’ve started to create a new “normal” of what you should or shouldn’t be doing that you may interpret that as being a long-term change. But in reality, it was originally designed to just be a short term change/fix.


DITCH THE SCALE AND MEASURE YOUR HEALTH IN OTHER WAYS!


Eating mindfully means listening to your body for internal cues about when and what to eat, rather than going by external rules, such as those of a diet.


While diets often do improve cholesterol, blood sugar and other health markers in the short term, these gains are also attainable from changes in behavior like exercising and eating more vegetables.


Instead of focusing on weight, focus on leading a healthy lifestyle more consistent with plenty of activity and a real food lifestyle.


Don’t adopt any ‘diets’ that you can’t see yourself maintaining a lifetime! Weight loss will come as you improve your health.


Forget about restrictive diets that leave you feeling hungry and undernourished. Instead, eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods that nourish your body and leave you feeling satiated. You’ll feel healthier and weight loss will simply be a side effect of your healthy lifestyle!


Jot down exactly what healthy looks and feels like for you, and why you want those things in your life.


When you have that clarity, you will begin making decisions that align with your unique needs, rather than what someone else says.


Instead of focusing on the number of calories or carbs in your food, think about the nutrients it contains. Ask yourself: Is it packed with nutrients that will nourish my body? Or is it nutritionally bankrupt — full of empty calories and void of nutrients? Remember, not all calories are created equal and there is a vast distinction between calories and nutrients.


Finding and forming a healthy relationship with food isn’t something that develops overnight.


Don’t adopt any ‘diets’ that you can’t see yourself maintaining a lifetime! Weight loss will come as you improve your health.

It takes time to finally enjoy food without worrying about either over indulging or over restricting. You have to find balance, it’s trial and error. Take mental notes of how you feel after eating certain foods. You’ll find that when you honestly listen to your body and respond accordingly.


Ultimately, your diet (not in the typical sense of the word) should be what you eat to fuel and nourish your body. Each person responds to different foods differently. So learn to listen to your body and understand which foods make you feel your best and which you don’t respond well to.

At Lotus Theory, we are dedicated to helping you achieve holistic health and balance.

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