Restrictive diets are the number one reason we ultimately fail to maintain our body goals long term.
We start off with a hiss and a roar because we read raving reviews about a particular break through diet!
We get sucked in without knowing exactly what we’re getting ourselves into, and then the reality of it hits…
And it hits hard!
You can only eat this, you can only eat that, you cannot touch this because it will totally blow your diet and you’re back at square one again.
It is not healthy, and it is not the way to manage your weight long term.
How many times have you seen phrases like this advertised –
“Lose 21 pounds on the baby food diet!”
“Lose weight eating only apples!”
“The boiled egg diet!”
“Lose 10 pounds fast eating only grapefruit!”
It is concerning when I read captions like this! And even more concerning that so many people get sucked into it and give it a go.
In this article I will be covering the following;
- What is a restrictive diet
- Reasons we fail with restrictive diets
- The dangers of restrictive dieting
- Alternative solution to restrictive dieting for long term success
What is a restrictive diet?
A restrictive diet is a diet where you are limited to a certain group of foods, or even worse, one particular food.
Most people will last only a few few days on a restrictive diet.
Some maybe a few weeks, and for those rare few determined souls out there, a few months.
But ultimately we find it’s not maintainable long term. We can’t go out with friends to get coffee and cake or pizza, and we really just aren’t living the way we should and deserve to.
So what happens next is we come to the realization that we simply cant do it any longer.
We completely give in and binge on anything and everything we want to, and usually without learning a single valuable thing in the process.
Sound familiar? Sure does to me!
When I was in my late teens and even early twenties I was trying all sorts of diets that I would see celebrities and “fitness” pros doing.
Of course to make it worse, I was young and naive so I just thought I would follow whatever they told me to do and that’s the answer to long term success.
So why do we fail with restrictive diets?
There are basically two main reasons.
1. They are far too restrictive to maintain long term
2. They teach us nothing
Both of these reasons actually go hand in hand.
Lets talk about it.
We should be able to eat absolutely anything that is edible and reach and maintain our weight goals.
No question about it.
To be able to do this though, we need to be taught how.
Restrictive diets don’t teach us how to do this. They also often don’t teach us how to manage our weight effectively long term.
Restrictive diets are like a quick fix. All they do is limit us so we can lose weight fast, and then leave us with no knowledge of why we’re doing it and what to do next.
The dangers of restrictive diets
Our bodies need a variety of different vitamins and nutrients to be able to function at there best.
Often restrictive diets don’t include enough of these essential vitamins and nutrients, resulting in a decline in health and our bodies ability to function properly.
- Physical health
When you follow a diet with significantly reduced food intake, your body immediately knows it is not receiving enough nutrients to sustain energy levels or to satisfy hunger.
This not only puts you at high risk of nutrient deficiencies, but can also cause other problems such as heart issues, dehydration, digestive issues, muscle cramps,difficulty focusing and concentrating among others.
When we don’t have sufficient food intake, our bodies natural reaction is to switch to survival mode.
Your body will start to use other energy reserves to be able to maintain regular body functions.
While this can of course result in weight loss, you will most likely lose more water weight instead of fat, resulting in dehydration, and your body can also start to eat away at muscle tissue.
2. Mental health
Restrictive dieting can play havoc with our mental health.
There is no need to completely restrict yourself of any particular food to be able to achieve and maintain healthy weight loss.
As mentioned earlier, restrictive diets almost always fail.
We end up binge eating or emotional eating our favorite foods because we haven’t been taught the right way to manage our diet and weight.
This results in feelings of guilt, frustration, anger, and overall helplessness.
It can also cause us to develop more serious issues around diet and food. Especially when we start to obsess over every single thing we consume and every calorie.
This can lead to serious eating disorders
Since food is often a big part of social gatherings, restrictive dieting can cause you to feel alone and even depressed because you feel you cannot enjoy yourself like everyone else.
Conclusion and solution
Weight loss achieved by restrictive dieting or crash dieting, is not your answer to long term success.
When we reduce our calorie intake, we do lose weight.
But this type of weight loss on a restrictive diet is very much a short-term solution.
When certain food groups and nutrients are restricted or removed from our diets, dieting becomes extremely difficult to maintain.
This results in us ultimately failing, and often gaining back even more weight than what we started with!
We learn nothing, and instead wind up even more frustrated than before, guilty and even ashamed of ourselves.
So whats the solution?
A easy to follow, well balanced, healthy and maintainable diet.
I guarantee if you follow a well balanced diet that doesn’t restrict essential vitamins and nutrients, you will succeed with your weight loss goals.
Diets like my 21-Day Weight Loss plan will help you achieve long term weight loss and teach you how to manage your weight effectively…without counting a single calorie.
In the 21-Day Weight Loss Plan I am helping you to reset your system and get rid of the toxins and that have built up over years of eating too many processed foods.
This diet doesn’t eliminate carbs, fat or protein.
All of these macronutrients are highly important and I have made sure I have included a healthy balance of each.
What is restricted, is processed foods.
By resetting your body you are not only detoxing and cleansing, but you are retraining your body to start craving the nutrients it needs, and not the unhealthy processed foods it once thought it needed.
Don’t worry, what i said earlier about being able to eat any food’s and still effectively manage your weight is absolutely true.
I will teach you how to do this as you make your way through the guide.
You can check it our below for more info. Also please feel free to leave a comment regarding your thoughts on restrictive diets.