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I ate all the cookies, now what?: Restrictive Diets Don’t Work

You’ve been doing great! The past 2 weeks you stopped drinking any alcohol, cut out all the sugar, and hit the gym 6 days a week. You’ve done everything your new (restrictive) diet has called for.

This is why restrictive diets don’t work:

But then.. you got home tonight and you went straight to the pantry and ate a few cookies. Devoured, might be a better word.

Why can’t you stop thinking (ahem, fantasizing) about cookies? You are enjoying the food. You are showing up for the workouts. But this temptation for cookies has been growing and growing and today – the volcano erupted.

A few led to a sleeve, which led to a night on the couch with soda and all your old habits came back full force.

You feel like there is no hope!

We have got you covered. There is HOPE. You are not the problem. Restrictive Dieting is.

What is a restrictive diet?

Restrictive diets, also known as fad diets, usually limit the types of food you are allowed to eat. They require strict rules and promise quick weight loss. However, these types of diets often fail to produce long-term weight loss and can even be harmful to overall health.

One reason restrictive diets don’t work is that we are human, not robots. We shouldn’t have rules around food like what is “allowed” or “not allowed”. We should enjoy life and the simple pleasures of birthday celebrations, holiday events or other gatherings where “celebration” food is normally served.

One thing to remember when starting any nutrition plan – if you won’t continue this new habit or way of eating for the rest of your life, then don’t start it now.

Odds are when you quit, all the efforts to get you there will be reversed quickly when you go back to the “old” way you eat.

We view restrictive diets as temporary, but we forget that means the results are temporary as well.

Coach Courtney, Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer: Northglenn Health and Fitness

Why do my cravings increase when I start a restrictive diet?

When we feel deprived of certain foods or food groups, we will experience cravings and feelings of frustration, which can lead to binge eating or other unhealthy eating habits.

Restrictive diets can also lack the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that the body needs to function properly. This can lead to deficiencies, decreased energy levels, and a negative impact on overall health.

This can cause what I like to call Weekend Sabotage as well. Watch this video for more details on that. All of the above can lead to a cycle of weight loss and weight gain, also known as yo-yo dieting. This enforces a mindset that you can’t change and all hope is lost. That can be frustrating and demoralizing for individuals trying to lose weight.

Healthy Habits

A healthy approach to weight loss involves making sustainable, long-term changes to eating habits and increasing physical activity levels vs restrictive dieting. This may include incorporating a variety of nutritious foods into the diet, learning healthy portion sizes, and finding enjoyable forms of physical activity. Like, you know – Personal Training at Northglenn Health and Fitness!

With healthy habits you can have cookies, you can have alcohol. You are not restricting your diet, you are incorporating healthy choices. You will still get to enjoy the foods you love, but you will learn to eat them in moderation to ensure your results last forever, not just 30 days.

The cookies you ate aren’t anything you can’t overcome by waking up tomorrow and doing what you know you can do long term and then add on more healthy habits going forward.

Want to join our 6 week Nutrition Kickstart? We start January 8, 2023 and can be done 100% virtually! Click here to join!

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