Is this you? All of a sudden feeling like your body isn’t yours, feeling uncomfortable in your own skin, looking in the mirror and wondering where that extra weight on your thighs and hips came from, how the hell that belly flab happened. Jumping on the band wagon of the latest fad diet to lose it, and yes, maybe it worked, but as soon as you went off the diet and started eating in your normal way again, you gained back the weight, and probably more.
I see you, and I’ve been you.
If you know me at all you already know that I have a background in functional nutrition, personal training and cooking. So, in my 20’s, 30’s and even for part of my 40’s, I knew how to lose weight. I knew how to sculpt the perfect body, I did it for myself, and I did it for my clients.
But then 50 happened and with it there came so much change.
I didn’t feel like myself anymore, I felt uncomfortable in my skin, I had brain fog and couldn’t fit into any of my clothes, I couldn’t sleep and I was always tired. And, the worst part of this is that everything I knew for all those years, how to lose weight and sculpt bodies, no longer worked.
So, like everyone else, I jumped on the bandwagon of the latest diet fad, lost weight, gained it back. I even tried one of those 90 day meal and exercise programs that had me eating 5 times a day and exercising for about an hour and a half each day. At the end of the program, I looked amazing, but that is not sustainable and it really consumed my life. Honestly, in the end, I just wanted my life back.
Which leads me to the topic of this episode which is why the latest diet didn’t work for you. This is what I have found to be the problem with dieting after 50.
1. It was too hard to fit into your life. As I mentioned with this 90 day thing I did, it was all consuming. I had to make sure I was home to eat, or remembered to bring food with me to eat because I was going to be out all day, following the workouts when my body ached from the day before and what I really needed was a rest day. I have no idea how anyone who worked did this program.
2. Diets have a start and finish time frame, leading to the mindset that it’s short term, so we follow it for a short period of time, go back to our normal way of eating and gain the weight back.
3. We believe that “they” know what’s best for us because they’re the professional. And, while this may be true in some cases, it’s not always true. There are programs that have been written by personal trainers that have no business telling you how to eat.
4. We believe that this diet has been created with us in mind, and this is almost never true. Popular diets are created for white, 30 something males, they are not created for anyone over 50 who has had hormonal changes.
5. Diets don’t teach you how to eat for sustainable, long term weight loss. They are a short term fix without any long term benefits and in some cases a very high cost. Research shows that once we got off our “diet”, we gain back the weight, plus more, leaving us heavier than when we started. This, unfortunately, leads us to try again, thinking that this time will be different, but it’s not, we lose the weight, go back to eating the way we used to and the weight comes back on, it’s a vicious cycle. This yo-yo dieting is extremely bad for our health. It has been shown to increase blood pressure and is extremely detrimental to our heart health.
6. Diets don’t take into account your actual needs. I have a question for those who have tried a diet where you’re counting calories, carbs or fat. How do they know that you actually need that specific amount of calories, carbs, or fat? You are uniquely you, and they have no idea if that is the right number of calories, carbs, or fat for you. I’m sorry, I think counting anything is a waste of time.
7. Diets don’t take into account your food allergies or sensitivities. If a food makes you feel anything but good, then ask yourself – should I be eating this?? The answer should always be a resounding NO, but, unfortunately, we believe that if it’s on the diet, we should be eating it. When we do this we are disrupting our microbiome and causing digestion issues.
8. Diets are restrictive. I mentioned that 90 day thing I did, well for 90 days I didn’t go out with friends for dinner, for a drink, to hang out, or anywhere there was food because if it was there I would be tempted to eat it. Honestly, that was probably the stupidest thing I ever did. Which leads me to the last reason the last diet you tried didn’t work.
9. Diets take the enjoyment out of eating food. Food should be enjoyed and savored. It should be shared with family and friends, not sitting alone counting the nutrients and being concerned that we might eat the bread. That’s just stupid.
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