Have you ever played that egg toss game where you throw an egg back and forth with a partner, stepping a little further apart each time you toss? You keep tossing until eventually (and it always happens) the egg drops and you get yolked.
When you think about it, dieting is exactly like the egg toss.
You keep juggling until, oops, one slip - one mistake/misstep - and you're done. Game over.
In the words of Thomas Plummer, because he says it best:
The single biggest lie in fitness is dieting. Diets do not work and never will. Adapting healthy eating, based upon you as an individual and with the guidance of someone with some practical experience, to your body is the only way to keep your weight under control.
And I completely agree. One cookie does NOT have to turn into ten, or twenty. One "bad" choice does NOT mean we have to toss up our hands and say, "welp, too bad, I gave it a good college try! This must not be the diet for me. I'll just keep looking (and spending lots and lots and lots of time, energy and money on finding the perfect plan that requires zero struggle but yields all the results)." Sorry, no.
In order to truly succeed you first have to get rid of the 'What-The-Hell-Effect' (seriously, it's a thing). Get rid of the, "I tried. I failed. What the hell, pass me another piece of that pie...". It doesn't work, for anyone, ever. Want proof? Take a look at any diet resolution you've ever made. How did it work out for you?
But you know what does work? Resilience. Weathering the ups and downs of progress (because, sorry folks, it's not always linear). Realising that one "bad" meal does not ruin the next, or have any negative value on your self worth or ability to stick with a program. Resilience, building the tools to eat well and in moderation in any situation, is the sole key to success.
The "comply or die" mentality simply does not work. So before you begin some crazy weight loss meal plan you found on Google this January, ask yourself this, does it encourage an ALL or NOTHING mentality? If so, it's likely to lead to you not achieving your goals, more program jumping and a defeatist attitude. If it allows for real life, encourages balance and supports both success AND slipping up, you're more likely to get and keep the results...maybe even forever.
Over the past four years I have ditched the dieting mindset and coached dozens of clients to successful weight loss, helping them to develop the skills necessary to do it on their own (because, the nature of my job is that one day you won't need me anymore).
So as you enter into this New Year, I encourage you to be okay with the slip ups, because they don't have to signal the end of your progress. Realise that your journey is a process, not a strict protocol. There are not rules you have to follow, but an intuition, a sense of what feels right for you, you need to gain. Because the most effective diet is the one that never ends.
And if you feel like you've been trying and can't seem to find the results you're looking for, or if these healthy habits feel hard to implement into your life, I'm here to help.
Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.