Why diets don’t work
Women are busy and sometimes you just need to be told what to do and in the first instance that is why diets are appealing and they work for a while. Control and penance are the keywords in the diet game and when you lose control, you fail and then the cycle of self-loathing begins and ultimately you lose self-esteem. Half of the adult population have 4 or 5 different attempts at dieting each year and yet most of the population is overweight. Why is it that you can achieve so much in other areas of your life and can have success in other areas like your business, career, family. You know you can be successful when you put your mind to something so why is ‘dieting’ such a yoyo game? Nutrition is basically very simple and yet so many get confused and upset. This blog will outline some of the real reasons why dieting has you hooked.
Diets feel great when you are on track and when you are off track you can’t cope, life isn’t manageable.
Why is it that so many people don’t feel good about themselves, that feeling of not feeling good in your skin, not living your right life, not willing to show up on camera or on video. Being overweight holds you back and prevents you from fulfilling your life’s potential. Are you putting off your life until you lose weight? Are you not wanting to show up in the world because you are tired, achy and not feeling good in your skin knowing not living your best life.
Why do you diet?
Gretchen Rubin describes people into four groups ‘The Four Tendencies’ she explains that women generally fall into the Obligers group. We love to follow the rules. For example, if your kids school PTA or your boss, asks you to bake a cake for tomorrows meeting you will probably do it. You may moan, groan and say how unfair or how unrealistic it is, but it will weigh you down and eventually, you will get up at 5am or stay up to 11pm and get it done. You can’t help yourself you are a people pleaser, most women are.
Here is another scenario, you are mega busy, uber busy and you want to fit in your Pilates class and everything else and then Johnny says he needs a new pair of trousers bought or sown up. What would you do? Yes, you would give up your own personal agenda (going to Pilates class) and follow Johnny’s.
You are an obliger, you uphold the rules. You are kind, compassionate and above all a people pleaser. Obligers usually need an external form of accountability to get things done and that is why in the first instance diets work for you. You are upholding somebody else’s rules and regulations.
But can you see where the weakness lies?
Mrs “I know everything about diets and how you can get slim” at the front of the Weight Watchers class is eventually going to annoy you off and your inner teenage is eventually going to stamp her foot and say “I am not going to take it anymore!”
I know this feeling I had a whole ‘season’ at a slimming camp, I lost a staggering amount of weight. I starved myself. I followed the rules. But the crazy thing is that I have never been that skinny again. Now I prefer to follow my own rules and that includes a large bottom and having a lot more fun and enjoying life.
Don’t miss low calorie means high toxicity
Gretchen’s personality traits:
Upholders – follow their own rules and others (they are knackered most of the time because there are a lot of rules)
Questioners – questions the rules (rare and the most thoughtful and less stressed person there is – unless of course, they ask too many questions and never get started with anything)
Obligers – that’s you and me – do what we are told – people-pleasers 🙂 jolly good sort x
Rebels – rare and speak for themselves. Don’t EVER follow the rules. They find a role in the military or government so that they can ‘rebel’ against it – bizarre but true. That is definitely a gorgeous girl Rachel. Watch her story here
Why can’t you lose weight forever?
How your body reacts to certain foods is a clue to why weight loss is difficult. Everybody reacts to refined processed foods, like alcohol, very differently. For some, the experience of eating junk food will make them feel full and they will push the plate away. And yet others are obsessed with food and experience a lack of control where the brain doesn’t feel satisfied. Food becomes an obsession.
Why are you always hungry?
Have you ever experienced those insatiable cravings that keep you stuck to the couch and keep eating or perhaps you have experienced that feeling of not being satiated after a meal?
Leptin is a hormone, that was discovered in 1994 and it informs your brain when you are not hungry anymore and you want to get active. In our neolithical past, evolutionary man would kill a wildebeest, gain a little weight then the newly formed fat cells would release leptin and caveman John was energised to get active again.
More recent research from 2004 by a university of California found that the leptin receptors in our brain are being blocked by insulin. Sugar and glucose are so high in our modern diet of sugar and refined flours that our bodies are having to produce more and more insulin to remove the glucose from your body. Insulin levels are 200-300 times higher than they were in the 1960s and 70s. There is considerably more sugar and flour in our modern diets and they raise insulin levels. The effect is poor memory, poor concentration, lack of focus, lack of motivation, and an inability to be effective and productive in your life
Research illustrates that mice that are bred without any leptin simply sit at the food dispenser and ate all day. The researchers were surprised by the results of the mice, the results of the leptin were predictable but other results were more interesting. The experiment was carried out in a similar way to Palov dogs (when the dogs over time salivated every time they heard the bell, they had grown to learn that food would soon arrive). The rats in the leptin experiment were treated in a similar way, instead of a bell there was a lever, then a few seconds later the food arrived.
Not all the rats responded in the same way:
- one group ran over as soon as the lever appeared ‘food rushers’
- another group were not so bothered could take it or leave it
- a further group fell in love with the lever and missed the food altogether ‘lever lovers’
The experimenters then bred the ‘lever lovers’ rats with the ‘food rushers’ and the results were ‘addicted’ rat. A powerful combination of environmental training and genetics mean that the rats were addicted. It isn’t hard to understand why you and I treat ourselves with food, food is everywhere. Life now is saturated with food cues, adverts on the telly, vending machines, petrol shop. You only have to remember the chocolate in the bath to understand that our environment is full of environmental cues about what emotions you will experience when you eat chocolate. Emotional eating is part of our culture, eating when you feel vulnerable, sad, lonely, bored, excited, or even celebratory
Don’t miss – don’t eat over your emotions express them
Why do you crave snacks at night?
Our house is very similar to most, late at night the sweetie shop calls crisps and chocolates at the end of the week or maybe you order a pizza or fast food. Why is that?
The reason could be simply it is a habit that has become so strong because the sugar hit from fast food, crisps or chocolate have over time, heightened the addicted pathway of the brain. Sugar acts like a drug on the brain in a similar way to cocaine and heroin. Sugar releases a massive flood of dopamine into the brain which is too much for your the body, therefore the brain begins to modify and ‘down-regulate’ the effect. This feeling of down-regulation means that you now lack the ability to feel pleasure. The sugar bomb means you can feel lifeless, depressed, lack of energy, depressed, because dopamine receptors have been switched off and you have to eat more sugar just to feel ‘normal’.
The great news is once you move away from the bad habit, the craving goes away and your dopamine receptors grow back
Willpower doesn’t work
Diets make you feel great on day one you eat better, you exercise more. Then, a couple of weeks later, it all starts to fall apart broccoli feels less appealing, because you have relied on push energy the energy of willpower.
Just having a plan of what you’re going eat and what you’re not gonna eat and how you’re gonna exercise leaves the weight of the choices up to a part of your brain called the anterior cingulate cortex, which is completely ill-equipped to make good decisions for you day in and day out, month in and month out, year in and year out.
In 1998, researches proved that willpower exists, the Radish Experiment by Roy Baumeister and colleagues.
Researchers asked the participants to arrive hungry and as they arrived at the lab, they were hit by the smell of freshly-baking chocolate chip cookies. The researchers asked the hungry participants to sit down at a table and were given two big bowls; a bowl of red and white radishes and a bowl of chocolate chip cookies.
Participants were invited to either:
- eat two or three radishes over the course of five minutes, whilst others
- were told to eat two or three cookies or the course of five minutes
- The control group arrived hungry but weren’t met with any food at all.
After eating the participants were required to fill out a lengthy questionnaire of impossible geometry puzzles as they sat there with the food right in front of them. The researchers were interested in how long the participants would persist with difficult questions. Those who had eaten the radishes and therefore had had to resist the cookies were not able to persist at those impossible puzzles for very long – about eight minutes before they got frustrated and gave up.
Those who were allowed to eat the cookies and didn’t have their willpower stressed at all, persisted two, two and a half times longer on average 20 minutes.
Making decisions, monitoring your emotions, like the participants who ate the radishes, tap the same part of the brain that leaves you in a state of willpower depletion Willpower is like a battery pack that quickly loses its charge then leaves you in a state of vulnerability
Don’t miss Forget willpower rely on healthy habits
Transformational change comes from habits
The solution is to embed habits complete consistency no matter what has gone on during your day No matter how tired you are, no matter how late you’d stayed up, no matter what mood you were in, no matter how depleted your willpower feels you still achieve it. Habits mean that there is no cognitive pressure to get it done, remember how stressful it was to ride a bike or drive a car, then these skills go into your subconscious and it becomes very easy
The solution is to put it all together
Neuroscience and psychology together with nutrition and exercise. Improve your relationship with your body
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