Redefining “Diets”

I have been thinking a lot lately about what successful weight loss methods are out there. Long story short, not many. Most weight loss methods are Diets that are intended to be used for a short period of time until the unwanted weight is gone, then the dieter goes back to their previous way of eating. This has certainly been the case for me. I have done Slim-Fast, Weight Watchers, paleo, calorie counting, Atkins, South Beach, Curves, and more. All of these are just things people do until they can go back to normal. But of course, normal is why they need these Diets in the first place!

So what does truly successful weight loss look like? Does it just mean losing a certain number of pounds or a percentage of body fat? Does it mean that you know how to lose weight? Or is it more?

A close family friend recently completed the losing phase of the medically supervised liquid fast diet. She lost a ton of weight and noticed a dramatic increase in her quality of life. She was doing so well that my grandmother wished she had enough money to send me to the same program. While I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to do a liquid fast for weight loss purposes, I tried to be as tactful as possible. I told my grandma that we should see how she does in the long term before spending over $3000 on something that may not even create long term success. Sure enough, the friend is in the maintenance phase now and going back to “regular” foods has not been easy. She is struggling with weight gain.

I know how hard that is. After trying so many different methods to lose weight, many more than once, I just cannot get behind the idea that any Diet should be temporary.

That is one main reason that I simply love the McDougall Program. I never intend to go back to “normal” eating again. I feel so great eating starches. I have much more energy than I ever have had before. My health issues that I have struggled with for years are getting better. Why on earth would I want to go back to a way of eating that left me feeling so terrible?

What are your thoughts on this? As we approach the start of resolution season, how do you deal with the commercials for every diet under the sun? Have you tried any weight loss methods before? Why did you stop? Do you see that as a failure of the Diet or a failure of your will power? (Hint: It’s built into Diets to fail, that’s why there are so many that people spend so much on!)

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2 thoughts on “Redefining “Diets”

  1. my mother-in-law did a similar doctor-supervised liquid diet. and, guess what? it all came back, plus more. she’s doing it again because “it worked” but as my husband and i have tried to tell her so many times: if it “worked” why does she have to do it again?

    losing weight isn’t about a diet. it’s all about making long-standing changes to your eating habits that you can maintain. it’s hard. it takes much more work and dedication than a diet. i think that’s why so often we avoid making these real changes. diets, while hard, are much easier than changing our habits for good.

    • Absolutely! That is one reason I love what I’m doing now. I am never going to go back to my old ways so I will never go through that! Sometimes I add in too many treats, but it is easy to adjust back to whole plant foods. I wish your MIL the best of luck and hope she finds what she needs to truly be healthy.

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