Why Diets Don't Work: Creating a Personalized Approach to Wellness

Why Diets Don’t Work

There is no one-size-fits-all diet, lifestyle, medical treatment, article of clothing…because there is no one-size-fits-all anything! We are all dynamically unique and have different needs in all areas of our lives as individuals. Imagine that there was a survey taken of bike helmet, shoe or other article of clothing sizes. Once an average was determined, helmet, shoe and clothing makers began only making the average size and sold that ONE size to everyone.

While the helmets, shoes or clothes may fit some people just fine, for many others it may be potentially harmful and most definitely uncomfortable! There just is no one-size-fits-all! The same is true with how you care for yourself. If you try to stuff yourself into a theory, exercise routine, meditation practice or even sleep schedule that does not suit you, you will be uncomfortable and it could even be potentially harmful for you.

This same concept is true for nearly everything. However, we are bombarded with messages from media, the medical community and other sources that there is only ONE best way to eat, to live, to love and to be. Not to mention that the headlines surrounding that ONE best way to eat, lose weight, live, love and be etc… changes all the time creating constant confusion about health and wellness.

This is precisely why diets don’t work for long term weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle. Studies show that long-term and yo-yo dieting actually cause weight gain. With a diet there is always an end point, so what happens when it’s over? First there is a sense of relief that you don’t have to starve yourself any longer and your metabolic functions may be out of whack after imposing excessive restriction sending you into an overeating frenzy.

Dietary theories, which are less about being on a diet and more about eating within a specific dietary plan also don’t work long term as they tend to have a higher level of restriction. These theories also often have a dogmatic view of food—such as this food is good, this food is bad—which instills a sense of fear around certain foods and creates extremes and confusion. Living in fear is never a good thing. 

A personalized approach to nutrition and wellness may include choosing to stay away from certain foods, however, you want that decision to be because that is your choice based on how that food makes you feel rather than being fearful of that particular food. When you are free and able to make a choice based on your health and how you want to feel, you create a mindset of empowerment. The more empowered you feel, the more you will begin to develop a healthy relationship with your intuition and your choices will be guided by your ability to truly listen to your body.

So you might be wondering, how do I create a personalized wellness plan? It can be extremely useful to do this in conjunction with a (w)holistic health and wellness coach, especially if you feel confused and overwhelmed by all the conflicting information out there. I recommend finding someone who works from a mindful and intuitive eating approach and encourages YOU to be the expert on YOUR body and a uses a highly individualized perspective.

But really, the thing is, YOU are the expert on YOUR body! You can become your own coach and can learn to tune in, listen and determine for yourself what your body needs, how to feed it, how to move it and how to best care for it. You are the only one who can determine what combination of foods makes you feel your best, what portions, combination of nutrients and timing of eating allows you to feel full, satisfied as well as the ability to maintain energy and overall wellness. Only you can determine what exercise—and really what anything—is best for you because YOU are the expert on YOU!

Becoming intuitively connected to your body by understanding its needs. You will recognize intuitively how food, supplements, medications, exercise plans, meditations and so on make you feel and this will give you valuable feedback that will inform your choices. If it is recommended that you go on a high protein diet and you feel disgusted by having yet another protein whatever, that is valuable information from your body. If it is recommended that you go on a plant-based diet and you are constantly starving and have low energy, that is valuable information from your body as well.

The thing is, some people will feel amazing on a plant-based foods only lifestyle—while others will feel miserable. The same is true that some will feel amazing on a higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet and others will feel horrible. We are all dynamically unique and have needs that are very specific to our own individual make up—mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and energetically.

The process of becoming more in tune with your body is all about mindfulness, self-awareness, emotional awareness and learning to pay close attention. The process is about truly listening to your body which often speaks in soft whispers and subtle messages. Adapting a mindful approach encourages that when you eat, eat—when you drink, drink. Notice the impact of what you are eating and drinking on your body. While you do not want to be restrictive in your dietary choices due to the tendency to over-eat after a period of restricting, understanding the difference between emotional and general food cravings allows you to intuitively check in with how your choices make you feel.

When you are truly intuitive and mindful you will be diligent and practical with your choices. Having your health become your focus will allow you to make empowered decisions. This helps take away the fear of food as well as the feeling of being deprived or restricted. The middle road is really the most sustainable, the most effective and the most realistic. The moderate path, mindful eating and tuning into your intuitive wisdom surrounding your food and lifestyle choices will help you heal your relationship with food as well as with yourself.

If you are interested in immersing yourself in a journey to heal your relationship with food using these practices and principles, Finding Freedom From Emotional Eating is designed just for you. This LIVE course begins on MONDAY February 4th, you can learn more or sign up here!