For anyone contemplating losing weight by dieting the image below is a common sight.
There’s the 8-hour Diet. The Zone Diet. Hormone Diet. Paleo diet. Sugar Blockers Diet. The Virgin Diet. Gluten-Free diet. And this is just a small fraction of what is available at a local book store. Dieters are often confronted with hundreds of diet books, magazines and weight-loss programs screaming: pick me, pick me, pick me!
After much deliberation, consideration and sometimes an impulse will prompt a dieter to pick up a book that serves her current state of mind. It could be desperation, narcissistic motives or simply to end ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired’ feeling. Whatever the reason, she will pick up a new book, splashed with fancy graphics, testimonials, celebrity endorsements and big promises. This is not her first diet book. She tried others before. And just like other diets she tried in the past she will fail yet again.
Many Reasons Why Diets Fail
The laundry list of why diets fail is long. Very long. It covers everything from our physiological basis to psychological motivation to the outrageousness of the diets themselves. But there’s one reason that trumps them all. Read on.
Top Reason Why Weight Loss Diets Fail
Ever wonder why there are so many weight loss diet books, magazines, DVDs, seminars, webinars and the like? Why there are so many different diets? Because they don’t work. Let me take re-phrase that. They only work for the person who created it. And the person who created it now wants to sell it to everyone else. That’s why there isn’t a diet that has 100% success ratio. What worked for someone else will not work for you. So, the top reason why weight loss diets fail is because diets are not individualized. What worked for one person will not work for another.
We’re All Different
What worked for one group of people will not work for another. My genetic makes up is different from yours. My lifestyle is different than yours. We break down foods differently. We have different allergic reactions or none at all. Our bodies hormonal responses vary ever so slightly, but enough to have an impact on how we store and metabolize fat. We’re the all the same, yet different. A case in point would be two characters from Super Size Me.
Remember Morgan Spurlock embarking on a 30 day diet consisting on nothing but McDonald’s? Remember what happened to him? Now, what about the man he interviewed, Don Gorske, who ate thousands of Big Macs in his lifetime. Did you see how he looked? How he functioned? He was thin like a twig and functioned like a normal and healthy human being. What accounts for such drastic differences? How can two people be on the same diet yet, look, feel and function so differently? I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but one thing you can bet on is that we all process and respond to foods and nutrients differently. Some of us are better at burning the fat off, while others pack on pounds. Some feel great after a big meal, others are lethargic. Some people feel bloated after certain foods, and others do not. And so on.
How to Successfully Lose Weight
Whatever diet plan you choose it has to be specifically tailored for you and how your body processes those foods. Of course there will be some common underlying themes and basic principles of good sound diet, but overall approach would be to design something that meets your needs. You might be really good at processing grains while having a hard time with fats, or vice-versa. The best way to figure out what works or doesn’t for you is by trial and error. It’s a tedious process, but it will pay off at the end.
There’s a lot more to losing weight and keeping it off than what is described in few sentences above. It takes the knowledge of foods and science that will help you get there. Planning and motivation to stick to it. Ability to incorporate it into your lifestyle. Self-awareness and knowledge of your body and how it reacts to and processes different foods.