You can’t turn on the TV, drive down the road or go to a party without being confronted with America’s hottest obsession: weight. Diets are a billion-dollar industry; companies spend millions and millions luring you to try the latest diet (low carb, high protein, low fat, no fat, you name it) with promises that this will (finally!) be the solution-your shortcut to a thinner body. Advertising efforts also deeply affect our children, who develop distorted body images and are often on diets as early as nine or 10 years of age.
Our culture touts diet pills, celebrity workouts, convenience foods and the newest diet craze to help us achieve our desired weight, but these quick-fix solutions have backfired. I’ve had clients in my office who’ve been on the paleo diet, Atkins, low carb, low fat, high fat, morning banana diet, Weight watchers, vegan, Weston Price diet, Slim fast, AIP diet, South beach diet, raw food diet, Whole 30 diet, MLM diet pills & patches, you name it. Yet they many times end up finding they can’t stick with it long term, maybe it’s too strict, it’s not right for their situation, they don’t love the foods, they feel worse, or they feel better but then it stops working, it’s expensive, it doesn’t work for their family, etc. Sometimes certain aspects of the diet work wonderfully for them, but other parts do not. There is no one diet that works for any one person, because we are all wonderfully unique- these trendy diets do not take into account genetics, medical history, medications & supplements, lifestyle, individual exercise needs, meal planning & family needs, how stress & mood plays into weight loss, special nutritional needs, etc.
America’s populace has reached its highest weight in history. About half of Americans are overweight; one-third are obese. Diets steer us away from our common sense and dip deeply into our pocketbooks while eliciting few, if any, lasting results.
- Diets don’t work because each person is unique, with different needs based on gender, age, ancestry and lifestyle; how could one diet be right for everyone?
- Diets don’t work because they are extreme solutions. As in physics, if a pendulum swings to one extreme, it has to swing equally to the other. A diet might work for a short amount of time, but research shows that almost all diets result in a 10-pound gain once off the diet.
- Diets don’t work because they are too restrictive. People who fail on diet plans are not flawed or weak. Diets by nature require discipline and restriction at levels that are unsustainable by a healthy human body.
- Most people are disconnected from why they gain weight and see diet as the only culprit. For example, ignoring or discounting emotions is often the first thing to cause weight imbalances.
In our fast-paced world, we have lost sight of many aspects of life that truly nourish and balance our bodies, such as slowing down, eating a home-cooked meal and spending quality time with loving people. Eating consciously and making simple lifestyle changes will create positive results and release you from the endless cycle of dieting.
Given half a chance, your body will balance out by itself, but this is only possible by getting out of the diet mentality and listening to what you truly need. Imagine taking all of the outward energy you expend on diets, fads and gimmicks and turning it inward, so that you can listen to your heart and inner wisdom. There is no such thing as a quick fix. With careful thought and loving reflection, you can feed yourself in a nourishing way. Working with your body rather than against it will bring you increased energy, stabilized weight and sustainable health.
Need support getting there? As a Certified Health Counselor & Holistic Practitioner my job is to help you holistically address all prime causes of weight gain, to help you become vibrantly healthy in a way that you’ll enjoy and will stick for life. The initial consult is free- just contact me and I’m there to guide you!
Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH
Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutrition/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide
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