I remember when I started trying to diet and lose some weight many moons ago. I wasn’t way overweight, but I was not happy with my body or how clothes looked on (or off) me. So, I started buying all the health magazines and really paying attention to those workout infomercials.
One of the first things I tried was an extreme calorie reduction diet. I’m talking celery and tuna and cottage cheese. I think that was all I was eating. I was dying! Needless to say, that didn’t last too long.
After that, I did another calorie restriction, but with foods I loved. M&Ms!! Stop me if I’ve told you this before but… I figured if I was only eating 750 calories a day, even if it was in the form of M&Ms, then I should still lose weight. Believe it or not, I was able to eat M&Ms for a “long” time, in diet terms. I probably ate at least 1 box of M’s daily for weeks. And substituted out the other boxes for some other low calorie processed foods…
Next up were some fat burning metabolism boosters. Nope, didn’t work. And then the next brand I tried didn’t work. And then the next, newest version (with the best marketing didn’t work).
Then, I completely cut out all carbs, as we all tend to do at some point. This actually worked for a while (actually, I lost weight with ALL of those crazy diets –except the diet pills), but then I got sick of all of the non-carb food I was eating, and the Atkins bars were getting gross, so I jumped off that crazy train.
So, why am I sharing all this DIET CRAZINESS???
Because I was soooo dumb! And because I think I needed to be dumb in order to figure out a healthy lifestyle that would work for me.
I definitely weeded out A LOT of diets that would never work for ME, and I had to go through all of that to learn and realize that a trendy, extreme diet will always just be a short term “fix,” at least for me. And I think overall, for everyone, that is how it works. You’d be VERY lucky to try out a new diet or nutrition plan and have it work for you 100% on the first try. Or have it not be a whole white-knuckling process.
And now, as I’m coaching people, and someone might mention they want to try something that I would consider not a good idea, I let them go through it. And I just let it play out. Hopefully, they will learn, sooner vs. later what will and won’t work for them. I can’t help that process go any faster. I can just support and let them learn at their own pace. My job is to help people learn for themselves.
I think we all have to be a dumb dieter before we get to be a smart dieter.
We never want to admit that and I know we are all impatient and want the right answer the first time and have the results come overnight. Well, let me tell you – from the M & M diet until now is about 25 years. No, I haven’t been struggling for the whole 25 years, but, I’ve been learning and trying and tweaking that entire time.
But it has probably only been in the last 10 that I’ve been looking for long term solutions. So, I was dumb for like 15 years, for reference, LOLOL!
So, try things! And most importantly, LEARN from them. All diets will work, it is just a matter of determining what will work for you in the long term and still get you the results that you want. Don’t beat yourself up if you try something and completely fail. Just keep trying, then you aren’t failing (at least in my book).
Oh, and DO tell me about the funny diets you have tried!!