Why Diets Don’t Work: Beyond the Scale

by Marsha Hudnall

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Why Diets Make Us Fat | How Diets Get Prevent Weight Loss SuccessI want to:

  • feel better about myself
  • improve my quality of life
  • get stronger
  • feel happy and energetic
  • get a healthy routine with eating and exercise
  • sleep well
  • be happy and healthy
  • get on a path to good health
  • find peace with food

The reasons women want to lose weight goes on.

We’re looking to change our lives for the better. With a healthy lifestyle that recognizes diets don’t work, we do. We start feeling better, more positive, have more energy. That is, until we step on the scale.

Don’t get us wrong. Many of us do see healthy weight loss after adopting a healthy lifestyle. But do we ever see enough?

 

One Reason Diets Don’t Work Is Because the Focus Is on Weight Loss

The answer to both the previous questions is ‘generally, no.’

Sadly, our expectations sabotage us. In one moment, we’re feeling great, knowing we’re on the path to the goals listed above. The next…well, we’re caught up in the depths of despair because the scale didn’t show enough weight loss…or didn’t move at all…or eek! It went up! This one measurement overshadows all the other positive results we’ve achieved.

Could it be the scale didn’t show enough weight loss – or even showed weight gain — because our weight naturally fluctuates on a daily basis? We gain or lose fluid regularly due to our hormone levels, carbohydrate or sodium intake, even how much fluid we drink. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with fat loss or gain.

 

Changing How We Measure Healthy Lifestyle Success

It’s really not the number on the scale that’s the problem. It’s our reaction to the number. Negative tapes start playing in our heads: “I’m so fat.” We lose our motivation: “Why even try?” We abandon our healthy habits: “It doesn’t matter what I eat.”

But we can’t escape the fact that results ARE a very strong motivator. So why not change how we measure success?

 

Try these goals on for size

I want to:

___ Cut the time it takes me to walk a mile
___ Be able to touch my toes
___ Be able to keep up with my kids/grandkids without getting
completely winded
___Think about food less often
___ Balance my breakfast
___ Exercise regularly
___ Become more self-confident
___ Minimize the negative self-talk
___ Sleep better
___ Feel more energetic
___ Progress to using a heavier free weight
___ Cook at home more often
___ Reduce my blood sugar
___ Manage my stress in ways other than eating
___ _________________(Fill in the blank.)

 

With goals like these, we can see faster progress and pat ourselves on the back more often.

And while we’re busy achieving them, we might just find we’re moving towards a healthier weight, feeling better and, hey, enjoying life a bit more!

 

At Green Mountain at Fox Run, we embrace the idea that diets don’t work. We think one of the first ways to start giving diets up is to give up the scale, or at a minimum, reduce how often we weigh ourselves. Instead, pay attention to the many changes a healthy lifestyle brings to our bodies, minds, and lives. We can discover that over time, it’s less about weight and more about finding joy and happiness. Because joy and happiness isn’t achieved when the bathroom scale hits a magic number. It happens when we begin truly living fulfilling lives. Constant worry about weight isn’t fulfilling.

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