By Heather Hamilton, PhD., LMHC, NCC, DCC | ©2022BreakThrough!
Diets Will Fail
Most diet plans fail and people tend to gain back more weight than was lost. Lifestyle changes that support long-term wellness are key to maintaining our health and weight.
Nearly every week we hear about a new diet plan or “super” supplement that will help us lose weight. We rush out, we buy it, but a few weeks later…we’re disappointed. Once again we find ourselves looking for the next “new and improved” bottle of potion #999.
Weight loss is simple science. In order to lose weight, we need to consume fewer calories than we use on a given day. However, we want to make it through the day without getting ravenously hungry. For that, we want to choose foods that provide adequate nutrition while maintaining stable blood sugar levels.
There are a lot of diets that produce significant weight loss and most of these (Atkins, Keto, Paleo, etc.) limit the consumption of carbohydrates while increasing protein to preserve lean muscle mass. These diets work for rapid weight loss and are supported by clinical research. The problem is that most of us find it hard to sustain highly restrictive diets for more than a few weeks; let alone a lifetime. In session 2 we talk about the science behind weight management, but ultimately we have to shift our perspective away from “dieting” and toward a commitment to long-term lifestyle change and positive self-care.
One technique that supports this shift is the cognitive concept of “re-framing.” What is re-framing? It’s the willingness to look at a problem or situation differently and adopt a new perspective or approach. Once we start reframing our concept of diet (punitive) into a lifestyle choice (positive), then making healthy choices becomes a part of what we value in terms of affirmative self-care.
While BreakThrough! is not a diet program, a section of this site is devoted to the preparation of great-tasting low-carb meals and snacks to make the transition to healthier eating exciting and enjoyable. Most of these food suggestions and recipes have been submitted by BreakThrough! participants, and as always we welcome your submissions!