Diets Work Until They Don’t

The first instance the notion of ‘diets’ appeared as early as 400BC, when Hippocrates encouraged exercise and throwing up to lose unwanted weight. Since then, there have been numerous diets such as the alcohol diet (1087), tapeworm diet (1900s), Keto diet (1920s), grapefruit diet(1930s), lemonade diet (1941), cabbage soup diet (1950), sleeping beauty diet (1966), paleo diet (1975), juice fasting (1990s) just to name a few.

All these diets have been considered fads because they have disappeared and reappeared time and time again, and every time, dieters claim they are quick fixes to getting rid of unwanted pounds. It is true that most diets typically result in initial rapid weight loss, but the weight loss usually isn’t permanent. The initial success in achieving some weight loss is a result from the lower calorie intake these diets require. In the long term, all short term dieting fails. In fact, research has shown that all these diets failed because more often than not, they are so unrealistic and restrictive and they failed to change a behavior. Furthermore, diets that are too restriction often lead to nutrient deficiencies, and this is never good. Carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables and even meats have vitamins and minerals that keep our bodies functioning the way we need them to keep us alive and well.  Learn more about the vital role of vitamins and minerals and macronutrients.

To maintain healthy weight, it should be a fairly simple strategy – consume the right amount of calories and exercise consistently. This process may not be as quick as some may want and therefore, turn to dieting as it promises a speedy weight loss process. But research consistently shows that in the long-term, you’re more likely to gain weight if you diet too restrictive.

What does this tell us? To really achieve lasting, healthy results, you need a plan that has a focus on long-term sustainable results; it has to be a lifestyle, a way of life.

Add A Dash of Exercise

The other important part of the equation is exercise. To make a lifelong commitment to health, you have to find things that will keep you motivated. Pick an activity, basketball, ultimate frisbee, track, golf, anything that will keep you motivated so that you have a stronger ‘WHY’ to eat right and workout consistently with relevant intensity. Exercise intensity and duration matter when it comes to weight loss. Going for a leisurely walk is great for heart health but the intensity and duration need to be upped to be helpful for weight loss. It is recommended that adults exercise a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise and 75 minutes of high intensity exercise per week. Pairing conditioning with strength training has been shown to have an even bigger impact on weight loss goals, not to mention, it helps keep your heart, joint and bones healthy too.

Make it a Lifestyle

The best strategies to maintain a healthy lifestyle, is to:

  • Develop a BALANCED eating habit that YOU or your athlete can stick with for more than a few months. This may include lean meats, dairy, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains and seeds.
  • Keeping a simple food log can help you see what you are really eating and drinking throughout the day to ensure you and your youth athlete are getting the right amount of calories and nutrients
  • Chose an activity or sport that will allow you or your athlete to set goals and have fun doing it