Please, Don’t “Go on a Diet”
We have a lot of clients who come to us having tried everything…
Keto. Intermittent Fasting. Atkins. Paleo. Gluten-free. Low carb. Vegan. Raw. Ayurvedic. Macrobiotic. Fruitarian. Blood-based. Nothing but grapes. Cleanses. Challenges. 6-week abs. 30-day this. Two-weeks that. Yo-yo dieting.
They are frustrated and discouraged. They haven’t experienced the results they wanted. The results they were promised.
Or maybe they did see results for a short while, only to return to the same weight. The same problems pulling them back like gravity.
Perhaps you can relate.
There is a fundamental problem with these sorts of diets, programs, and protocols. The problem is that they provide a temporary solution. They promise a quick fix, which is why we are so susceptible to them.
Because that’s what people want: a quick fix.
There is plenty of profit to be made by selling false hope.
The way we approach these dietary changes is especially problematic.
We believe that “dieting” is supposed to be difficult. A necessary evil. We treat it like a sacrifice that entails restriction and deprivation. Rather than focusing on eating nourishing and delicious healthy foods, we focus on avoiding the unhealthy treats we know and love. It becomes a dreaded chore, rather than an enjoyable and empowering journey. It fails simply because we associate more pain than pleasure to the changes we are making.
The language we use is also telling. We say that we are “going on a diet.” This implies that we will one day “go off” of it someday. It implies that, once we try it out for a while, we can go back to our old ways. The default mode. Our own personal status quo.
Then we obsess about the outcome, whether it be weight, appearance, fitting into those jeans, or looking alright in a bathing suit come summer. And like most outcomes, we are trying to find the quickest, easiest way to get there.
But no quick fix will create the sustainable lifestyle truly needed for lasting health and wellness. Only deliberate changes consistently applied to your daily behavior over time can do that.
Here’s the thing: Health is not a destination. It’s a Journey.
And it’s the journey of a lifetime, not two weeks or thirty days.
Ultimately, this is not about going on a diet. This is about creating a lifestyle.
This is about cultivating a way of life that allows you to look and feel your best.
Your goals should be the byproducts of how you live.
For example, rather than excessively focusing on losing weight, focus on creating a healthy lifestyle in which weight loss is the natural result of your daily behavior: what you eat, how you move, who you spend time with, what you purchase, how you spend your time, etc.
We are not against diets, in the sense that they can provide a framework, or set of rules, for making decisions about what to eat. That can be helpful for many, especially in a world where we are bombarded with complex and conflicting information.
Our message here is simple: If you do not see a diet becoming a way of life for you, it is destined to fail. When considering how to eat, don’t look for radical short-term fixes, but reasonable and realistic lifestyle changes.
We are also not saying any particular diet is “right” or “wrong.” We believe in bio-individuality, recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach; what works well for one-person may not work well for another.
We do believe, however, that there are fundamentals we can all benefit from. We believe these principles allow for the flexibility that many of us need to remain consistent and truly create lifelong health.
Some of these fundamentals include:
- Eliminate or drastically reduce sugar: Sugar causes a spike in insulin production and wreaks havoc on our health in a myriad of ways. It should be consumed sparingly or not at all.
- Eat mostly plants: Food-journalist Michael Pollan boils all his years of research down to a simple piece of advice: “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.”
- Be careful with fruit: Low-glycemic fruits include blueberries, cherries, blackberries, and raspberries. Limit grapes, mangoes, pineapples, and bananas. Say no to dried fruits and most definitely fruit juices.
- Be strategic with carbs: Carbohydrates are not the enemy; they support long-term health, energy production, and brain function. But they are NOT all created equal. They vary drastically in the way they impact your body. Stay away from refined and simple carbohydrates stripped of their nutrients and fiber. These are the processed breads, bagels, doughnuts, and sweets that cause your insulin to spike and blood sugar to plummet (see #1). This leaves you foggy, irritable, inflamed, and often hungry again shortly after. Eat slowly digested carbs from plants and whole grains.
- Eat high-quality proteins: When it comes to meat and animal products, think quality over quantity.
- Eat healthy fats: Nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados, fish, eggs, meat, grass-fed butter, and coconut oil will provide omega-3 fatty acids and other good fats while keeping you satiated and energized for hours.
- Avoid vegetable, nut, and seed oils: Watch out for canola, sunflower, corn, and soybean oils. They sneak their way into a lot of different food products.
- No weird crap: You know what we mean. We’re talking about pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, chemicals, additives, GMO foods, dyes, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. This stuff is simply not fit for human consumption and it’s a shame it’s been accepted as a part of our food culture.
We understand that change can be difficult, but we believe that a healthy lifestyle, one in which you attract the goals you’ve been chasing, is possible for everyone with the right guidance, strategy, and consistency.
If you would like support on your journey, we are happy to help.
At Alchemy Total Wellness, we specialize in helping people experience total wellness through nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes.
Schedule your free Wellness Assessment below (available by phone or in-person) to speak with one of our professionals about how you can create lasting health and wellness in your life.
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