Why do 8 out of 10 people fail when dieting?
The concept of “dieting” is associated with a short-term in which it is intended to correct all the failures incurred over many years. And, like everything in life, correcting habits requires a time of learning, adaptation, and internalization, not a miracle. We do not like to use this concept because it is associated with a specific and temporary physiological situation when in reality, we should acquire healthy habits that allow us to stay in good health at all times. That is, we should not understand the word “diet” with this negative connotation of restriction on food and time, although it is a fact that this is how most people use it.
An adequate nutritional plan should guarantee sustained long-term weight loss. This weight loss is not necessarily rapid, which generates impatience in those who are doing it and, therefore, abandonment and failure. However, the fact that this weight loss is slow but continuous allows it to be sustainable in the long term since it favors a correction of habits and the achievement of a healthy lifestyle in which one can continue to enjoy social gatherings, celebrations, and special dates. These events, due to their sporadic nature, do not substantially influence a healthy lifestyle.
Another frequent problem is not setting realistic and optimal goals since we want things here and now. This need for instant pleasure, which sometimes we do not get when we repeatedly put ourselves on a “diet,” causes us to abandon it. In addition, we must be aware that we eat as we live, so if we do not change what makes us eat in a certain way, we will only be patching the problem and not working from the source.
With all this in mind, how do you help your patients achieve their purpose?
From the Nutrition Unit of EGR, we believe that it is essential to help from the motivation, to set the patient the objectives, to accompany him during the development, and to help the person who commits to his process and get what he wants, but in the long term. For this, we have tools as applicable as nutritional coaching and emotional feeding program, where we can intervene with them and give them tools for self-management from the analysis of emotions and how these affect their diet.
Misinformation, or even erroneous information, can also play tricks on people who want to lose weight. What are the most widespread false myths in this sense that we should banish?
Food, a subject of great importance in our lives and that generates a high interest, allows the appearance of false myths, speculations, and theories without any scientific basis to support them, which inevitably are on everyone’s lips. There are a lot of related myths, but let’s take this opportunity to clarify some of them:
– There is no bad food. At the physiological level, we are designed to digest all kinds of food. Still, throughout our lives, some people can develop allergies, intolerances, or other conditions that make it challenging to assimilate some types of food. On the other hand, although the quality of the food we eat is essential, when we speak of “bad” food as a portion of processed food, we must look at the quantity or frequency with which we consume it before punishing us for having finished it.
– The fruit after the meal DOES NOT get fat. Eating it sooner or later does not change its composition or its caloric content of it. Of course, due to the amount of fiber it contains, if we take it before meals, we may have a more incredible feeling of fullness and, therefore, we ingest less quantity of the food that follows.
– Bread and carbohydrates, in general, DO NOT get fat. Carbohydrates are included within a varied and balanced diet, which must constitute at least half of the individual’s caloric needs since they constitute the primary fuel of our organism. The problem is the quantity and quality of them. It is essential to learn to moderate it since they are usually found in simple foods that are addictive (sweets, bread, pasta, refined rice) and more complex in wholemeal bread, pasta, and rice, the latter of higher quality and slower absorption due to its high fiber content.
What would be the eating habits that we should not neglect to achieve our purpose?
Several tips can help us reach our goal within a specific nutritional program that can be maintained in the long term:
– Make five meals a day. This measure helps avoid binge eating in the main meals and prevents the appearance of prominent blood glucose spikes related to long-term chronic diseases such as type II diabetes.
– Basing food on foods of plant origin and unprocessed foods. While in fresh or natural foods, the highest concentration of nutrients is found, in the processed, the nutritional quality of the same is reduced, in addition to usually containing substances foreign to the food itself that act as preservatives, and flavor enhancers, among others.
– Have a schedule for meals. It does not have to be a strict schedule, but defining a schedule or scheme, will allow us to plan the meals we will make each day, avoiding falling into easy solutions that are what usually constitute our “Plan B” when we do not have time or anything to eat (machine sandwich, the first thing we found at the bar to snack, etc.)
And finally, what would be the keys to maintaining the ideal weight once we have lost weight?
The ideal numerical weight is an illusion or mere theory. It must be the one in which we find ourselves in a state of physical and emotional well-being, that is, one in which we feel comfortable and healthy, so instead of talking about the ideal weight, we should talk about a healthy weight. Therefore, the most important thing on this point is not obsessing with a numerical goal but thinking about a health goal in which our body works and evolves in harmony with the stage of life in which we find ourselves.
The work carried out in a nutrition plan is largely educational since it is intended to change habits that can be maintained long-term so that everything learned during the duration of the same can be maintained. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, in which all types of food are included in a balanced manner, is the goal we must pursue and not an unsustainable long-term miraculous formula.