Now is the prime time of the year for everyone to go on a diet. Your relatives, colleagues, friends and casual acquaintances all have the best intentions of losing some body fat and being healthier. A few months later, simple observation will tell you that something went wrong on their path to a leaner, fit body. What could it be?
I have studied nutrition in myself and others now for the past 7 years. Hundreds of diet books each year come out and proclaim the latest diet, whether that is low-carb, low-fat, fruits and meats or whatever. The funny thing is, all these ‘experts’ and books could argue forever and the bottom line is, any diet works if you are in an extended calorie deficit for a time. I could tell you the calories in each macronutrient, but that would not make the effects of the diet last. I could write you out exactly what to eat and guess what, many people will still not achieve their goal. Nutrition is pretty simple really, eat healthy foods and not a lot of them and you will lose weight. Add in some high-intensity exercise and you will be that much better. But then the question remains, why do so many people fail at their diets?
When I was competing in bodybuilding, I would go on the most extreme diets for 4 months at a time. I always seemed to be drained and worn out, although my workouts were great. This told me a few things. First, physically I was fine; I was not going to drop dead from being in a calorie deficit. This told me that my mental anguish over the diet was what was wearing me out. I, like so many others that diet, have the mentality of deprivation. If any of you know of The Secret, then you know about attraction patterns. Dr. David Hawkins also talks quite a bit about attraction patterns in his three books. If you focus on what has been taken from you, you will be miserable. That is the first key; do not focus on lack when it comes to diet! You must have the mentality that you are giving the gift of health to yourself rather than taking away all of your favorite foods. You must learn to associate a good feeling with the mild hunger that will accompany a diet. What we focus on expands; focus on deprivation and your diet will wind up turning into a train wreck.
Too many people also have false relationships with food. Everyone enjoys food and social gatherings, but there is a time and place for that enjoyment. Food is a fuel and you must remember that. If you can learn to monitor your self-talk and feelings when it comes to food, you will be way ahead of the game. Quick, think of your favorite food and all the emotions that come with it. Scary, right? Don’t worry, there will be a place somewhere down the road for that food, but the important thing is that now you have recognized the association between food and feelings.