by Judah Boulet
Why do most diets fail? I believe many of you already know enough about healthy eating and nutrition to meet all your nutritional goals, whether it be weight loss, body composition changes, or just a healthier diet. I bet given a choice of five meals, you would be able to choose the healthiest option. So, if you know what is healthy already, why does your “diet” not work? Why do most people get on and get off diets like a RIPTA ride?
First off, periodic diets don’t work long term and based on their design they shouldn’t. For many, doing a diet/cleanse/challenge means X amount of restriction days, and on X+1, it’s a free for all in epic proportions! For many others you start off strong, fully committed, but in a blink of an eye you fall off the wagon on one meal, and it’s a tumultuous decline back to your starting point.
So, WHY does your diet fail? First off, many people start diets with the goal of losing weight. Why is, “I need to lose weight,” a recipe for failure? It fails because it is not a realistic, specific, measurable goal with a deadline –if you want to be successful, this is the first step. From there, everything else for success builds on. From there the steps and behaviors needed to reach the goal can be established. It’s easy to tell you how to eat. One successful and easy food plan can be found at Precision Nutrition. A successful food plan and an already present knowledge of healthy foods is all you need. For 90% of people, if you follow the plan, you will reach your nutrition related goal. But I hate to say it most will not follow through!
Why not? Maybe you are not ready to commit to making the changes in your behavior to do so. What if you are committed? It is extremely difficult to go from 0-60 nutritionally in a day! Real change happens with habits. Your diets have always failed because they fail to incorporate healthy habits day in and day out. The starting point is with ONE habit though. If you try to go from 0-60, you will not build up these healthy habits because you will fail before any one habit sets in. So, start with one!
How can you make small changes to improve your health every day for two weeks? Not sure where to start? Try one of these habits every day for 14 days:
- Sleep 8 hours a night
- Eat slowly, 15-20 minutes per meal
- Exercise 4-5 hours a week
- Eat something protein-dense at every meal or snack
- Limit the amount of starch at each meal
- Fill your plate with veggies
- Eat only whole food fats
If you fail, restart. Don’t add in a second habit until the first is ingrained in your daily regimen for minimum two weeks.