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Diets Don’t Work, Lifestyle Changes Do!

O.K. hang onto to your seats because some folks aren’t going to like what I have to say…

Stop dieting now! Diets don’t work.

Think about it…how many times have you heard your friends, love ones or even yourself say, “I’m going on a diet”…

These people are gung-ho at first… they buy healthy foods… they join a gym or start walking in the mornings.

Soon…these people begin lose weight… some even lose a lot of weight.

But then what happens?

They’re happy… the look great… so they decide that they can return to their old eating habits.

Then they start skipping the walk or the gym…

Next thing you know… they’re right back where they were when they started… or in worse condition!

So what do they do?

They go back on a diet…

This is where we get the term “yo-yo” dieting? Someone goes on a diet, they lose weight, they stop dieting, they gain the weight back, they go on another diet.

The cycle is repeated over and over and the yo-yo dieter gets heavier and heavier.

I remember when I became a firefighter there were a couple of the guys that were in their mid to late thirties that were teetering between being overweight.

The amazing thing is… these guys were on some sort of a diet all the time.

And all of those years I worked with them, all 27 of them, they never seemed to lose any weight.

They said they did but they really got larger not smaller.

I noticed they ate a lot of “fat free”, “low fat” and “light” foods… but their volume intake was horrendous.

And during football season… every weekend there were parties… where the pizza and beer flowed like water.

Then came basketball season… then baseball… then hockey…

Do you see a pattern here?

Even at my worst… I never went to those parties… as the damage they were doing to their physiques was noticeable.

But that’s not where this horror story ends…

While on duty and in between calls… these “chronic dieters” would sit and watch whatever sport was on… eating a pint of low fat ice cream along with chugging many cans of some sort of diet cola.

And in all of those years of supposed dieting… they never exercised.

The only physical these guys got between calls was walking upstairs to the kitchen and dormitory…and since we didn’t have an elevator in the building… they never went to the ground floor unless it was necessary.

So you see they had a lifestyle, an unhealthy and deadly lifestyle.

That was years ago…and I have moved on from the station house and unfortunately, many of those guys are no longer with us.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

It takes a little more than just changing what you eat or swimming a few laps…

To really make the changes you’re looking for… you need to change lifestyle.

Get off the couch, get away from the tv and computer, get outside… do something active!

Don’t look at food as a comfort… look at it for what it really is…fuel!

What I’m trying to say in a nutshell is…

Lifestyle changes work, diets don’t.

That sounds like a huge undertaking… but it’s really a lot easier than it looks.

You can make that change and never look back… and I know it works!

To show you what I mean… let me share a conversation I recently had with one of my co-workers about diets.

The discussion revolved around volume intake.

He mentioned he was putting on a few more pounds than he’d like to…and asked me if I could suggest an easy diet that works fast.

I had to tell him the truth…

I don’t do diets… but I never heard of an easy diet that works fast.

 “What are you talking about? You’ve been ‘dieting’ for years?

No, I haven’t” I said, “But that may be your problem… you’re using the word ‘diet’ wrong.”

He gave me a very puzzled look… so I had to explain further.

You’re looking at a ‘diet’ as something that has a beginning and an end… I look at diet as what you put in your body… it doesn’t end. Diet is what you eat… not the way you eat it.”

At this he through up his hands…

What my friend needs to do is put down the baked potato chips and sugar free cookies… pick up an apple and take a walk around the block.

It’s not hard… people have always lived this way… up till about 50 or 60 years ago when food and leisure activities took a turn for the unhealthy.

So, what I’m saying is don’t go on a diet… just eat healthy.

Don’t start an exercise regimen… just go for a walk.

This is something that anybody at any age can do…

And the more you do it… the happier you’ll be… I guarantee it!


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