A Diet That Works?

Health and diet trends come and go like the wind. What is popular today will be debunked tomorrow.

For many years the low carbohydrate diet was popular. And how could it not be? If you strictly stick with the Atkins Diet, you will lose weight. The problem is keeping the weight off.

Once you go back to eating the way you are used to, and once you started eating some of those foods that you aren’t allowed to eat on the diet, all of the weight you lost, and usually more, will come back. Also not to mention the fact that low carbohydrate diets are now linked to increased risk of breast cancer in middle aged women.

Recently the popular diet is the gluten free diet. I feel that most of us are slightly allergic to gluten in wheat. In most of us, gluten will cause some inflammation in our gut. Gluten can therefore contribute to our bodies being slightly inflamed in general.

The major complaint that I hear concerning the gluten free diet is that you can’t sustain the weight loss. Once you go back to eating gluten, most people gain all of the weight back that they struggled so hard to lose. This is because for most people, it is unrealistic and incredibly hard to stick with eating gluten free for the rest of their lives.

If you haven’t learned how to eat healthy, then once you go off the gluten free diet, you go back to your old eating habits that made you overweight in the first place.

The trick is to subtly and slowly make small changes to your eating habits and exercise habits that are easy to maintain and easy to incorporate into your lifestyle.

Diets don’t work. Diets fail 95% of the time. If you lose weight on a diet, you have a 95% chance of gaining that weight back within 1 to 2 years. It is easy to lose weight initially, which any drastic change to your eating habits will accomplish this. But it is much harder to maintain that weight loss and keep it off long term.

A major reason why these diets and weight loss systems fail is because they don’t incorporate exercise along with the eating plan. Exercise is the best way to burn calories and lose weight. Dieting and watching what you eat will help, but it won’t burn calories and fat the way exercise does.

Our bodies change as we get older. Our metabolism changes as well as how much energy our bodies burn just existing. If we were to eat the same way now that we did 20 years ago, we would gain weight just from that. Our bodies need less energy and therefore less food on a daily basis to exist.

That is why it gets harder and harder to lose weight by just watching what you eat as you get older. I have heard many people tell me about how when they were 20 years old if they gained a few pounds they could just starve themselves for a few days and the weight would come right off. Our metabolism and bodies in general slow down as we get older and don’t recover from anything as well as we did when we were younger. So we will not recover from weight gain like we used to when we were younger.

That is why we need to be intelligent when eating right and exercising. We need to set up our eating routines to be healthy and easy to stick with. You aren’t going to stick with an eating program for the rest of your life that won’t allow you to eat bread. You won’t be able to stay away from carbohydrates for the rest of your life. You won’t be able to avoid dairy for the rest of your life.

You certainly can avoid these things for the rest of your life, it is possible, just not very probable. In my experience, even those who have to avoid these substances for health reasons, have a hard time never eating them.

I feel that it is normal and natural to feel deprived when you can’t eat any of these good looking, good smelling and good tasting foods. It is extremely difficult to go out to dinner with your friends and not eat the bread or pasta or something else like that when all of your friends are eating it. I feel that it is only a matter of time before you crack and binge on the foods that you have been forbidden to eat. I feel like it is normal to do that. We are human after all, and no one can be perfect.

Just as no one can eat a perfectly healthy and clean diet all of the time. My family and I eat healthy about 80% of time. My wife and I control what our kids eat when we can. But on the weekends, or when our children go with our parents or go to school, we are not able to watch what they eat. So as long as they are eating healthy when they are around us, then they will have the flexibility to eat unhealthy when they aren’t around us. If you eat healthy most of the time, then eating unhealthy the rest of the time will not affect you as much.

In the same way, if you are exercising and burning calories on a regular basis then eating a big steak dinner with French fries and chicken wings over the weekend will not affect you as badly as is would otherwise. You’ll just burn most of those calories off with exercise anyways.

Most everyone will have their days of not eating healthy. Exercise helps make sure that those few extra calories don’t stick around and become more. Most people gain 1 to 2 pounds each year. Exercise will help prevent that from happening to you.

In the Pain Free Program, I plan for having one day per week of indulgence. I think it is very important to have a day when you can eat what you want to and not have to worry about it of feel guilty about it. It is hard enough to watch what you eat all of the time. If you don’t have some days when you can eat what you want to, then you will start to feel deprived, and even angry, that you can’t eat the foods you love. If you are exercising consistently and watching what you eat consistently, then having that one indulgent day a week will not cause any extra weight gain. And that one indulgent day will give you the strength and resolve to go through another week of watching what you eat and exercising.

Diets don’t work. You have to change around your habits and your lifestyle with small, easy to incorporate changes that you can stick with. You can’t stick with drastic changes to your diet and lifestyle, long term. You can’t stick with eating gluten free or dairy free or carbohydrate free for the rest  of your life. But you can stick with eating some fruit or vegetable with every meal, or with eating breakfast every day. And you can stick with a short and effective exercise routine that you can do from home.

If you can incorporate eating healthy and exercise into your lifestyle, you will lose weight, reduce pain, and feel better. Pain Free Lifestyle helps you do this step by step. It is, the Pain Free Way.

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