Whatever you do, as you read this post, do NOT think about a doughnut. I repeat: NO DOUGHNUT THINKING.
Now I want to talk about restrictive diets. You or someone you know has been on one of these diets, like Atkins, Dukan or Whole 30, or maybe you've been on the cabbage soup diet, the paleo diet or a ketogenic diet.
Each of these diets is based on the premise of restricting the types of food you are "allowed" to eat, eschewing entire food groups and foods that would otherwise be characterized as health-promoting (I hope you're still NOT thinking about that doughnut!).
Many folks report initial success on these diets as measured by pounds lost. By restricting what we eat, we typically eat less, which does translate on the scale (still no doughnut thinking, OK?).
But at a certain point, the dieter gets burned out. I've seen it umpteen billion times (not an exaggeration--that's the real number of times I've seen it): Deprivation diets ultimately lead to a binge.
Being told not to think of a doughnut makes you think of a doughnut.
Being told we're not allowed to eat certain foods makes those forbidden foods seem even more sexy and delicious.
My main issue with deprivation diets is if it takes a drastic intervention to lose weight, it will take an equally drastic action to maintain that weight loss. If you can't imagine eschewing entire food groups for the rest of your life, or for at least five years, you're wasting a lot of time, effort and will power on results that aren't going to last. The weight that you lose will likely be short term, and the pounds will creep back on once you abandon the restrictions.
If restriction and deprivation don't work, what's the answer? Mastering a balanced diet full of lots of vegetables and fruit, nuts & seeds, lean proteins and whole grains. That's a lot tougher than it sounds, but the payoff is much greater, and results are far more sustainable than the short-term results from fad diets and restrictive, punitive eating plans.
Need support in ditching restrictive diets and adopting a balanced and healthful way of eating? Let's talk.