Why do I have no willpower to stick to a diet?
"Studies have shown that diets more often than not lead to weight gain! Because the body does not know the difference between dieting and starving, once a severe dietary regime is concluded it will voraciously store food as fat as a protection against further unreasonable onslaughts. But it is with diets that fashion and fads play their largest part. Diets have replaced the weather as the basic item of polite conversation.” - Robin Fox
So many of the people that I work with often will tell me at the start of our one-on-one sessions that they "just don't have the willpower to stick to a diet". You too may have found yourself starting a new diet-plan filled with hope and excitement, only to then find yourself giving up or falling off the wagon a few months (or maybe even a few weeks or days) later. This may then turn into a "blow-out" moment, where you give yourself permission to have "one last" slice of pizza/piece of cake/chocolate bar etc... before you then promise you start again "tomorrow/on Monday/next week". This is a very COMMON PATTERN amongst dieters. It is this pattern that means that dieting very often results in weight-gain long-term rather than weight loss.
You see, when it comes to diets, they ALL WORK... in the short-term at least. If you put anyone in a significant calorie deficit, they will lose weight. The issue however, is that our brains and bodies interpret this extreme calorie restriction as starvation and so people will then often find themselves obsessing about food and maybe even binge-eating or over-eating as a way to try and protect themselves against this starvation. This isn't their fault. This is just the body trying to protect itself against famine.
Also very few people go into a diet thinking "this is how I am going to eat for the rest of my life" - and the issue then becomes what happens once the diet is over. If someone then just transitions back into their old habits again, they will end up just re-gaining all of the weight that they have lost, plus more.
This is why, when I work with clients that would like to lose weight or to stop binge-eating/over-eating, we work together to build new healthy habits around food. These habits are not too extreme or too drastic and so the body and brain do not interpret them as starvation or a diet. Instead they are focused on nourishing and nurturing the mind and body as much as possible. Though developing these habits, my clients are then able to completely change their relationship with food and get healthy without it feeling like a constant battle or struggle. If you would like some support with your relationship with food, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.” ― Albert Einstein