I’m sure you’ve heard of, and maybe even tried dozens of fad diets before.  There’s the Lemonade Diet, South Beach Diet, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Paleo Diet, and so on.  All of them are supposed to help you lose a lot of weight really fast, which sounds great doesn’t it?  But here is the thing with these fad diets…they do work.  I’m sure you probably thought I was going to tell you the opposite.  I’m sure you’ve heard before that diets don’t work because you need to make a lifestyle change and yada, yada.  Well, I’m going to get to that, but first let me tell you why these fad diets will help you lose weight.

Really, there is no secret to it other than each of these diets drastically decreases your calorie intake.  Weight loss basically comes down to calories in versus calories out.  So, if followed correctly, you will lose a ton of weight just like they promised.  What each of these diets also has in common is that they are completely unrealistic to how we eat in real life.  The most obvious example of this would be the Lemonade diet, where you drink nothing but syrup, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and water for two weeks.  Yes, you will lose weight, because you’re not eating anything!  But what happens after two weeks?  Uh, you’re going o be hungry as heck and devour three meals in one!  Then you’re just going to go right back to eating the way you were before and then be back where you started.  So what was the point of all that?

The same goes for those other diets that have you eating nothing, but grapefruit or nothing but protein, or only special pre-packaged meals.  When it comes to real life, do you really see yourself giving up carbs forever?  And what are you going to eat when those pricey frozen meals run out?  You’ll have to eat something.   Are you going to go right back to how you were eating before?  Most likely.  Because after all that discipline it took for you to stick to your strict fad diet, you still have not learned how to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle.   And this is why diets don’t work.

Whether or not you want to hear it, you have to start slow.  This is especially true for those of you who have a lot of weight to lose and have never said no to a piece of chocolate before in your life.  It’s not realistic for you to say you’re going to cut out all junk food and processed food and only eat vegetables.  That will never last, because you’re going to be craving like crazy everything you’ve sworn off.  At one point you’re going to crack and dive into a ferocious binge that will leave you feeling worse about yourself than before. Then you’ll go back to your old eating habits because you’ll believe that eating healthy is too hard and you’ll never lose weight.

Hey, even I would go crazy eating nothing but vegetables every day!  You don’t have to go full force fitness fanatic to start losing weight.  What you do need to do is become aware of your bad eating habits and slowly start to change them.  If you’re eating sugary non-nutritious white bread with your sandwiches, switch it to whole wheat bread.  If you’re guzzling down glasses of soda or sugary fruit juices every day, switch over to water.  Instead of ordering french fries with your meal at your favorite restaurant, can you try going with the mixed vegetables instead?  There is always a healthier option and overtime it will be easier and easier for you to reach for it.

Although, these days I stick to a healthy diet of mostly unprocessed whole foods (lean protein, fruits, vegetables) I didn’t start out that way.  All I ever ate was fast food and junk food.  But I slowly started making healthier changes. Pretty soon I started to see results, which only made me that more eager to keep going.  The best part was that after a while I didn’t even miss the junk I used to eat before.  I felt and looked so great that I never wanted to go back to what I was doing before.  These days I still love eating healthy, but that’s not to say I never eat a piece of chocolate cake or scarf down a generous amount of salty french fries.  Of course I indulge every now and then, but that’s the difference.  I only do that every now and then.  Not every single day like I was before.  You must become aware of your bad eating habits and then consciously make the decision to change them. This is how you learn to eat healthy and this is how you are going to lose weight and keep it off for good.

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