Clean Eating vs. Dieting – Why Diets Don’t Work
I have to tell you – no matter how many times I’ve heard it, it’s always a heartbreaking experience to hear a new client share their struggles with weight loss, body image and self-confidence. The flurry of fad diets, the money dished out on gadgets, pills and programs to lose weight…only to gain it right back afterward. Time and time again, weight loss marketers promises this ‘new you’, so naturally you get excited, certain that this is the time.
But it never is, is it?
Shortly after the program ends, you realize you’ve been let down, yet again. You take stock, and realize you’ve gained more than you’d lost, leaving you self-consicous, disappointed and feeling like a failure. After weeks (or months!) of deprivation, obsessive calorie counting and self-loathing, you forget the most important part of health is taking care of you & your body. The truth of the matter is: DIETS DON’T WORK!
Sure, sometimes you lose the weight (at a cost to your health, your body and your wallet) for a short period of time, but the problem is, and will always be, diets cannot give you long-term sustainable weight or fat loss. When going through these drastic changes of dieting, your body goes into shutdown mode and your brain releases hormones telling your brain that you are starving. So when the diet is done, your body wants to replenish what it lost, plus some.
When you diet, you are consuming less food, so your metabolism slows down and you also lose muscle in the process. In no circumstance, in a healthy body, would you want to lose muscle mass! Instead, we need to focus on what is being put into our bodies, not how much of it.
There is a stigma against people who diet and then gain the weight right back, like they, the individual, are the reason they gained the weight back due to lack of will power, strength, laziness, ignorance… this puts too much power in weight being a choice or a product of not trying hard enough to be what everyone wants you to be. I read a great quote from an article in TheAtlantic.com that said, “Nutrition and fitness should be directed towards a healthy and improved lifestyle- NOT appearance (that is just a benefit).” And it’s true!
First off, clean eating is not a diet, it is a lifestyle choice. It is making the conscious decision to be happier and healthier, not only for you, but for your family. Clean eating is all about being aware of the pathway your food had to go through from growth, to your plate. It is focusing on consuming whole or real food and reducing or eliminating processed, refined, or handled food from your diet.
Focusing on raw, organic fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and good fats, the benefits go far beyond just weight loss. You gain more energy, improved body system functioning, improved cognitive abilities, better skin, shinier hair… the list goes on!
Some general tips to remember when eating clean include:
- Limit processed foods
- Increase fruit and veggie intake (raw and organic are the best options)
- Cut down saturated fat
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol and tobacco consumption
- Remove sugars or artificial sweeteners
- Eat lean meats
- Cut out refined grains
- Hydrate – not with sugary sports drinks but with water. If you don’t like water try adding lemon or raspberries for a hint of flavor.
Of course, food is only one part of the weight loss equation. To lose weight and reach optimal health and wellness, you should exercise regularly, practice stress management, sleep proper amounts, hydrate, and focus on your daily nutrients. Clean eating will help you and your family feel better, long-term. And when you feel better, it shows!
Interested in joining a clean eating group with health coaching support?
Then you’re going to want to check this out: I lead a Seasonal program called REPLENISH….it’s a 14 day Spring Reboot that will help you figure out the EXACT formula for you and YOUR body. No more guessing what might work. No more wondering if you’ll ever lose the weight.
My next group kicks off April 23rd!
No crazy pills, potions, shakes or supplements….just real, whole foods that will help you get back in balance and feeling amazing.
Defeat the confusion, and claim the body and life YOU deserve!