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Why Diets Don’t Work

“I just need you to tell me what to eat, then I’ll be able to lose weight.” 

Knowledge Isn’t Enough

This statement is far removed from the truth. If it were true, fewer individuals would have heart disease simply because they know eating more vegetables and moving more is good for them. However, putting knowledge into practice is an entirely different set of skills that yield results. Millions of people know that smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, strokes, and COPD. They still smoke. Knowing what macronutrients are, that hydration is important, and achieving energy balance will only get you so far. You must have a working ability to understand your body, balance stress, create meals, navigate the grocery store, and then some. The following are strategies that your nutrition coach will assist you to incorporate into your lifestyle plan. 

Personalize the Information

There is a plethora of information available, in numerous sources and media. Videos, articles, tweets, books, and images flood you daily with the latest diet tips or nutrition guidance. The key is to figure out how much is necessary for you and your goals. Likely, you are beginning to eat vegetables at every meal. In this case, knowing the intricacies of micronutrients and how they are best brought out of foods based on what fats they’re paired with is irrelevant to you. Information on ways to make vegetables taste good, cook them easily, and integrate them into your existing schedule is much more valuable. 

Integrate Material Into Daily Life

Your schedule, work demands, family dynamics, and exercise are unique to you. Following a standard diet template with strict rules likely doesn’t meet the individualized needs of your body. In addition, it is limited to a certain timeframe. When we incorporate nutrient and diet information into daily life, we create something that is sustainable in the context of YOUR goals. 

Find Value in the Knowledge

Don’t misunderstand me – diet plans can be very effective for short-term, number-based outcomes. However, what value does losing 10 or 20 pounds provide you? The number is, in fact, irrelevant. It is the related benefits of losing (or gaining) weight that gives meaning and value to nutrition knowledge. Perhaps losing 20 pounds will give you the energy and ability to move better – thereby giving you the chance to take that adventurous trip to the Rockies with your partner. Or, gaining some muscle mass will make it easier to do your job as a carpenter or a physical therapist. By translating the gaining and application of knowledge into value, you thereby combine purpose and motivation towards wellness.

Create Rather than Regurgitate

We all know that answering questions on a test is completely different than putting concepts into working models. Are you able to take what you have learned about nutrition and create recipes, fueling strategies, and lifestyle changes? Work with a nutrition coach to go beyond KNOWING and forward into CREATION. You have the ability to get to a high-level nutrition client, where you can go from knowing the “plate method” to morphing the method into a dynamic meal. Perhaps you expand beyond a post-workout protein shake to knowing how to time your macros around training sessions.

I can’t wait to see where you go from here. 

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