3 Reasons Your Diet Failed You
Diet. I wish we could take back that word from the money-making industry of diet culture. A diet is really just what you put in your body. Everybody has a diet. But most people still think of something specific and probably restrictive when they think of the word “diet.” Either way, if you have ever tried to reach some sort of fitness or weight goal on your own and it hasn’t worked, I can probably guess why. Three areas pretty much sum it all up.
1. Too restrictive
The first one, and arguably the most common one from what I see as a nutrition coach, is that a person’s diet is too restrictive. There are so many “diets” out there that require you to put very specific things in your body and if you stray from that, your success goes out the window. A restrictive diet does something to your brain: develops a scarcity mindset. When I used to work with children who had experienced trauma, it was not uncommon for them to hoard food, and either binge eat or take and hide it in places. Maybe they would come back to it and eat it later or maybe they wouldn’t, but at a basic level, when the brain is deprived of something, it says “I will get what I need at all costs.” On a similar level, if you deprive yourself of foods that you want ALL the time, it’s not going to make you want those foods less. It’s going to trigger alarms in your brain that makes you crave them MORE. Crash diets can be very effective for a short time, but once you’re not under the confines of it, you’re going to make up for lost time. It is better to approach things in moderation–this keeps your brain calmer and allows you to make choices about your food that you can maintain long-term.
The second reason people’s diets often fail them is closely related to the first, and it is inconsistency. When creating a plan for a diet (remember, what you put in your body), it’s important to be able to adhere to that plan most of the time. With each of my nutrition clients, at the end of our session and the planning we have done for them to implement a new habit, I ask, how confident, on a 0 to 100% scale, are you that you’re going to be able to do this everyday (or whatever frequency is prescribed)? If they say anything less than 80%, I know we need to keep planning or tweak some things, to get that confidence higher. Eating lean protein and half your plate of vegetables at every meal is a great idea in theory, but if that’s not attainable and you end up doing it a couple times each week, you will not see results. This is why working with a coach can be really helpful, because they can help you choose a path forward that is both attainable and very specific, so that you’re able to meet your goal most of the time.
3. You’re doing it alone
I’m a highly disciplined individual but even I know trying to do things alone is not usually the most effective way to proceed. I made a New Year’s resolution maybe 3 years in a row that I was going to get a strict muscle-up, and even blocked off time in my calendar to work on building strength in that area, but without anyone holding me accountable to it, I just scheduled over that time with work stuff and never built up the (MASSIVE AMOUNT OF) strength needed to meet that goal. So, this year I asked one of my coaches to personal train me, and wouldn’t you know it… I’ve made a lot more progress with him in about 4 months than I did on my own in 3 years.
Same concept with a diet. You are the average of your five closest friends. If you don’t have 5 close friends, all you have is you. If your support group isn’t on the same page as you in regards to your wellness goals, it’s going to be really hard to reach them. If you don’t have a support system, it’s also going to be a challenge, because you don’t have anyone with whom you can create a plan, or talk to when following that plan gets hard, or celebrate your successes with and stay motivated to keep going!
So do what I did and hire a coach! Take back the term “diet” and start seeing the success you crave. Because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that success (no matter how small) will 100% motivate you to keep going back for more. Think of the person you could become!
Hire me or one of our other amazing, thoughtful, supportive nutrition coaches to help you be that person. Go to crossfitrenew.com/nutrition to get started.