There are many reasons why diets don’t work. In my opinion, these include the facts that they aren’t sustainable, they’re restricting and are often hard to follow properly. What's more, they can actually cause deficiencies in key nutrients which can end up causing or perpetuating health issues. But the number one reason that I think diets don’t work, is because they don’t work for YOU.
Let me explain...
Think about the last time you tried a fad diet. You probably chose that particular way of eating because it worked for a friend, family member or co-worker, right? The thing is, what works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you. That person has a completely different genetic makeup than you do. Their metabolism is different, and their overall health is likely at a different starting point than yours is (good or bad!).
There is so much misinformation in the world today related to nutrition. It can feel nearly impossible sometimes to truly know what you should be doing!
In order to find a way of eating that works for you, you need to understand the unique needs of your body and lifestyle. Depending on starting point, underlying health issues, or goals, this is going to look different for everyone. Only once you have all of the information can you begin to find a way of eating that truly works. Your dietary needs will also change throughout your life, and you need to be willing to make changes as needed to continue to feel great.
Just because a diet results in weight loss does not make it healthy. Likewise, just because something isn’t “bad” for you, does not make it good for you. A healthy way of eating is one that provides you with the nutrients your body needs, and one that feels right for you. Eating healthy should not feel like punishment!
There are many things that go into finding a way of eating and living that is best for you. In many cases, there are underlying conditions that could be a result of a food allergy or sensitivity, a nutrient deficiency or other condition. I believe that your body is always giving you hints as to what it needs. There is a saying that “your body whispers before it screams”. You need to be aware of these small signals and address them before they turn into bigger health issues over time.
Symptoms that are often overlooked include:
Inability to lose weight
Skin rashes or problems
Here’s the good news: You don’t need to live your life feeling poorly! There is almost always a diet-related reason you are feeling a certain way. If you want to feel better, you need to take the time to find out what that reason is, and make an effort to fix it!
*I do believe that there is a time and place for diet protocols. I’m referring specifically to therapeutic diets; ones that are used to treat a specific health condition (for example, eating gluten-free for Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity).