TSA#5 – Why Diet’s Don’t Work

Jan 28, 2013 by

See if any of this sounds familiar…

(Sometime after Christmas)

I’m going to go on a diet on January 1st.  This is the year that I get into shape.  for reals.

But since it’s not January 1st yet, I am going to indulge and let myself eat whatever I want because after January 1st, the diet IS ON!

(Mid January)

OK, the diet is on, but it really sucks to not eat anything fun.

Next weekend is my birthday.  I get to splurge on my birthday.  After that, the diet is back on!

(early February)

Superbowl parties don’t count.  Of course you have to eat all those fun snacks and appetizers.

And we have to go out for Valentines day and you can’t go out AND be on a diet so I’ll just have one fun night out and then back to the diet.

Also, chocolates.  You have to have chocolates and candy for Valentines day.

And wait, what??  Girl Scout cookies are out now?  Well crap, I have to support my nieces and buy several boxes.  They have to sell 450 boxes to get to go on the cruise.

(March-ish)

I admit I should not have eaten all those boxes of Girl Scout cookies, but dammit if there isn’t anything better than frozen thin mints.

Ok, the Diet is going back on now.

Easter is coming up or something lets get on this fasting for 40 days thing.

(April-May)

Crap, spring is coming and summer soon after.  I better get back on the diet and get in shape.

I’m going to do really well this month.  Shoot wait, I have my friends big birthday bash and a work trip this month.

I’ll splurge on those and just get on the treadmill a little extra next month.

(June)

When did summer get here already?

Time for a juice fast

(July)

Just fasts suck.  I want a cheeseburger!

Ok, I’m just not going to eat anything until the big party at the beach next week.

(August)

Summer is almost over and I still need to get with my diet and get into the real shape I know I can.

No more parties or splurging.  I can do this!

(September-October)

Where did summer go?  How is school starting already?

Who has time to cook?  I’ll just grab something quick from the fast food place, but I’ll try to be healthy.

I’ll just get a salad…and fries.

And this year I WILL NOT pig out on all that Halloween candy

(November)

OK, I said I wasn’t going pig out on all that Halloween Candy, but it’s just cheaper to buy it at Costco.

Next year I should not buy it on Oct 1st and keep it around the house.  That was my downfall.

And with Thanksgiving coming up, I should probably just put the diet on hold for a bit, until after the holidays.

(December)

I really need to stop overeating on all that holiday food, but those sugar cookies just remind me of Christmas so much!

And eggnog!  Who doesn’t love a glass or two of eggnog.  That is what Christmas is all about.

But right after Christmas, I am going on a diet.

Well, I should probably way until after the first of January to start the diet, with all the new years parties and such.

That’s it!

I’m going to go on a diet on January 1st.  This is the year that I get into shape.  for reals.

And that is why diets don’t work.  Insert your own birthdays and anniversaries and schedule into the above timeline and you get an unattainable goal.  We have stuff to do.  We have places to go, and people to see. We have lives.

So what is the answer?  How do we fix that endless cycle?  How do we get into a healthy cycle?  It’s simple.

Eat less, move more.

We have two big problems with our American diet and lifestyle.  We eat too much, and we sit around too often.  The portions of serving sizes have gotten huge and we sit around all day and the combination of the two is killing us.

So what do we do to fix this?  We are going to eat less and move more.  No fad diets.  No get slim quick schemes.  No pills or powders.  We are going to make this very simple.  We will eat less and move more.

Part 1: Eating less.

The good news about the ginormous portion sizes if you are a couple is that you can split any meal and have more than enough food for both of you.  This not only saves you the extra calories, but you also save money when you are going out to eat.  My wife and I do this all the time.  We share a meal and sometimes even have leftovers.  If you are going solo, eat half of your meal and take a break.  Often times I rush through a meal and then after stuffing it all into my mouth realize I ate too much and feel terrible after.  Slow down.  Take your time.  Understand that it’s too much food and you don’t have to eat it all.  Eat half and stop.  Take a few minutes.  If you are still hungry then maybe eat more, but 90% of the time you will be full and can take the extra’s home for leftovers.

Also try cooking at home a little more.  You can better control your portion sizes and not eat as much.  Put less food on your plate.  You will eat what you have in front of you.  Try smaller plates or bowls.  If you have a smaller surface area you won’t be able to fill it with so much food.  Again slowing down here is important.  Take a smaller portion size and eat that.  Then get up and go get more if you really need it.  You will find that you don’t need it.

Lots of great recipes on the Food & Cooking section.

Part 2: Move More

If you sit at a desk all day like I do its important to get up and move around.  I have a big bottle of water at my desk that I try to drink and get up to refill often.  I also go running at lunch.  This is a nice way to break up the day for me.  If you can’t exercise at lunch, try to get into the habit of doing it before or after work.  Take the dog for a walk in the morning.  Go for a jog with the family in the evenings.  Get up off the couch and do something.  Turn off Honey BooBoo and spend that time walking around your neighborhood.  Go for a hike on a nearby trail.  Ride your bike down to the local park and let the kids run around.  Just get up and do something.  Start small.  Walk around the block.  Then when you can do more, walk around 2 blocks.  Get into the practice of turning off the TV and doing something active.  Once you make this a habit you will start to see big changes in your health and weight.

So this is your Truly Simple Action of the week: Eat less and Move more.

Resolve to eat smaller portions and start the habit of getting up and off the couch to get more movement in your life.

That’s it.  Simple huh?

Also a quick note on foods to eat or not eat.

You know what’s good for you and what is bad for you.  It’s not hard.  If its growing out of the ground its probably good for you.  If it has a lot of ingredients and chemicals that you can’t pronounce then its probably bad for you.  Throw away the bad food and go out and buy good food.  This will help you on your way to a more healthy lifestyle.

Ben…

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