If you have fat loss as a goal, you probably already know that
“abs are made in the kitchen,”
“can’t outrun a bad diet,”
and all the other cliches popular right now to help people learn that fat loss is a healthy diet + exercise.
Exercise seems to be the easy part for most people. It’s “diet” that’s the big struggle. Am I right?
The irony, however, is… we need to adopt healthy diet changes to lose weight, but diets themselves don’t work.
What!? Did I just say diets don’t work?
Yup. (And intuitively you probably know it too). But let me explain why.
Reason #1 Why Diets Fail:
Dieting is NOT behavior changing.
That’s because going on a diet is exactly the opposite recipe for changing our behaviors. Behavior change happens by consistently performing small, easy tasks until they become automatic.
Behavior change happens when we create new routines and habits that fit perfectly inside our current lifestyle. Diets force you to fit square pegs in round holes. They doom you to frustration, failure, and future change avoidance. They make us feel uncomfortable and unsuccessful.
The new science on behavior changes proves that people do not make positive changes when they feel uncomfortable and unsuccessful. People change by feeling good and successful about themselves and enjoy the process.
Diets make us do hard things that don’t come naturally and don’t fit into our schedule or our life, and they ultimately fail. Every single time. Whatever we lost on the diet inevitably comes back, and the process of failing leads to feeling like a disappointment. When we feel unsuccessful, we do things that are self-defeating and self-destructive…like overeating. The vicious cycle of dieting reinforces unhealthy behaviors.
Reason #2 Why Diets Fail:
Diets make us wait until we start a diet.
Diets trick us into waiting until we are ready to do something hard to make positive improvements in our health.
Dieters put off making positive changes until they are ready to white knuckle it, batten down the hatches, and force themselves to be strict. The avoidance of starting a diet actually postpones our results. Becoming fit and healthy is a process of getting 1% better every day, every week, every month, every year.
Effective behavior changes are something that anyone can start right now and start seeing improvements, right away. Without pain, shame, or discomfort. In fact, the smaller the change, the better! Success begets more success, and the power of one positive change reinforces your belief in yourself.
As you develop the character trait of self-efficacy, the confidence in your ability to make positive changes in your life increases. As your identity shifts, new (tiny) healthy behaviors start growing and multiplying. In a short time, you’ll look in the mirror and see a new healthy person who does healthy behaviors effortlessly every day.
Reason #3 Why Diets Fail:
Diets require motivation. Habits don’t.
Diets don’t work because they require motivation to stick to them. They don’t work because we don’t stick to them. As soon as we stop the diet (and we will), our same old behaviors come back, and we gain all the weight back. How long can you stick to a strict diet? One week? Two months? Maybe 6 months if you are exceptionally motivated?
Motivation is the biggest lie the fitness industry is selling you. You don’t need motivation to make positive changes in your life. What you need is to learn the skills for behavior design. These skills will help you stick to your healthy routine when motivation is low and high. When we perform health behaviors over and over again in our daily life, automatically without even thinking about them, and without feeling restricted or bad about ourselves, we are motivated to keep it up.
I know you are thinking: But, Kelly! I need to do something drastic because I’ve let myself go. I don’t think a tiny change is going to have any impact. I need a strict diet.
I get it. We live in a society that sells you the quick-fix, go hard or go home mentality, but look where it’s got us? We are sicker, more sedentary and unhealthier than ever.
Just like a tiny seed that grows into a beautiful redwood forest, starting with one tiny habit might not seem to make a big impact, but in reality, it is truly transformational. Your tiny healthy habit sets the stage for bigger, better, and amazing changes. Your tiny healthy habits can be linked with your existing routines to create an automatic lifestyle of health success.
For most of my clients, success looks like this:
Eating the right foods for you, in the right amounts for you, and exercising regularly—automatically, even, without thinking about it or feeling restricted.
If that sounds like success to you, then I invite you to become a health coaching client.
In my “Healthy with Kelly” 6-Week Health Coaching Course, I teach the skills of creating new habits the EASY way. But you don’t have to wait until I teach a new course to start developing the skills of making positive behavior changes in your life.
In fact, I recommend you start with something smaller and easier to get a quick start on the road to forming new habits.
Join my FREE 5-Day Healthy Habits Coaching Course with me as your coach!
Committed to Making Fitness EASY for you in 2022
Owner, Health Coach, Personal Trainer, ForeverStrong