If any diet can help with weight loss, then why are there so many?
Whether you decide to try paleo, vegan, low fat, or some other diet you read about online, if you stick to it for at least a couple weeks, you are guaranteed to see results. Then, because you saw results with a certain diet you believe that it must be the key to your success…
But do you really think that one diet is the only way to see results? Furthermore, can you see yourself following that diet forever? See my blog on Less Control For Life Long Success as to why following one strict diet forever isn’t the answer, for weight loss or a fulfilling life.
Although each diet puts an emphasis on different food groups over others, they all have similarities. Moreover, it is the similarities that lead to success, not necessarily the diet.
Therefore, I decided to outline some similarities of popular diets to show you why following any diet really works.
- ‘Dieting’ makes you aware of what you’re eating. Whatever diet you decide to follow, you are consciously eating or not eating certain foods. Furthermore, following a diet leads to being more mindful of what you are eating. Opposed to just eating everything and anything in sight. Therefore, you are consuming less calories in a day.
- Following a diet will recommend cutting out, or at least cutting back alcohol intake. Even just cutting back alcohol intake will help because alcohol is filled with empty calories. Empty calorie foods and beverages are high in calories, but low in nutritional value. Additionally, alcohol consumption usually increasing mindless snacking. Therefore, by cutting back your drinking you are not only consuming less alcohol, but also less munchies. Therefore you are consuming fewer alcohol and snack calories, decreasing your overall calorie consumption.
- ‘Dieters’ eat more vegetables. Vegetables are good for your overall health because they are nutrient dense. Plus they are typically very low in calories. This means that you can eat a greater volume of vegetables, that will give you the nutrients that your body needs, with less calories. However, because of the higher fiber content and ability to eat a larger portion, you are less likely to still feel hungry. Therefore, by filling up on vegetables first you are consuming less overall calories.
- ”Dieting,’ and water pretty much go hand in hand. One of the first things many people do once they start trying to eat healthy or diet is increase their water intake. Water benefits you in many ways. But, in direct relation to weight loss, the benefit of drinking more water is decreased feelings of hunger. This is because our bodies can confuse being thirsty with the feeling of hunger. So we will eat, when we were actually just thirsty. Furthermore, by making water your number one beverage choice you will decrease the amount of sugary and calorie filled drinks you consume regularly. Therefore, consuming less overall calories.
Diets work because they guide you to consuming fewer calories.
The only way to achieve weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume, on a regular basis. Therefore, the main reason diets work is because they lead you to consuming less overall calories for an extended period of time. Luckily, it does not have to be that complicated. It just takes some awareness and conscious decision making.
My point is that it doesn’t particularly matter what diet you follow. Furthermore, building habits based off of dieting similarities will help you achieve your weight loss goals and lead an overall healthier lifestyle. And the key to lifelong success with weight loss and maintenance is to find something that you can adhere to, for the majority of the time, for life.
That is why I recommend the 80/20 rule when trying to reach health or weight loss goals. You can read more about the 80/20 rule and learn how to find your balance in order to reach your goals, while still enjoy your life, in this post here.
How to turn dieting similarities into lifelong healthy habits:
- Start being aware of everything you consume.
- Say no to handfuls of candy every time you pass the community treat bowl at the office.
- Portion out your snacks on a plate, instead of consuming the whole bag.
- Eat more vegetables.
- Aim to eat 5 handfuls (or more) of veggies every day.
- Eat a variety of vegetables – different colours, raw and cooked, for different nutrients.
- Drink more water
- Aim for 2L of water a day.
- Consume less empty calories
- Empty calories: calories that are in foods/beverages with no nutrients
- Examples: candy, soft drinks, alcohol, fast food, baked goods, etc
Diets aren’t forever.
Success comes from what we can do consistently.