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0 Comments | Jan 27, 2011

Why it’s hard to find diets that work

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There are literally hundreds of diets that work to reduce the dieter’s girth and weight.  Entire forests have been felled to publish diet books, and there are entire warehouses full of servers containing dieting information published on the internet.

Then why don’t diets ever really “work?”  That is, why do most dieting episodes end with dieters restoring their body mass and fat percentage to pre-diet levels, and then some?

The answer is simple.  While there are hundreds of diets that work, there is only one mindset that works to get healthy and stay healthy:  you need to commit to a sustainable, enjoyable lifestyle change, not a diet.  Diets imply sacrifice, pain, privation, and discomfort, which relegates them to a short-term role in our lives.  We dash in an all-out sprint over a few months to reach our target weight, subconsciously telling ourselves that the difficulty will end soon.  And it does – as soon as we start eating the same crap that got us fat in the first place.  If you’re looking to lose weight, you’re not looking for a diet that works.  You’re looking for a healthy lifestyle that works.


A healthy lifestyle contains exercise, appropriate nutrition, and sustainability.  It must contain pleasure, enjoyment, reward, and progress in order to be sustainable.  And it must be sustainable in order to generate meaningful and lasting results.

Here is the two-step process I used to change my lifestyle.  It succeeded in dramatic fashion, as I lost 42 pounds and over 70 cholesterol points in a seven-month period, and I’ve continued to improve my health over the three years since then.

This is what you can do to achieve the same results.

  1. Commit to proper nutrition as a long-term lifestyle choice. I discovered that healthy food is actually delicious.  I also discovered that I could eat as much of it as I liked, and I would continue to have the body I wanted.  What constitutes “healthy food?”  It’s very simple:  eat meat and vegetables, seeds and nuts, some fruit, very little starch, and no sugar.  Period.  Done.  No fad diets, no smoothies, no supplements, no crap.  Just good food.
  2. Commit to relatively high intensity exercise. Intensity varies based on the individual, so I’m not suggesting that you try running a marathon on your first day if you’ve been busy getting fat for the past ten years.  Perform major muscle movements involving as much of your body as possible, and do that repeatedly until you’re exhausted.  An entire workout can take less than ten minutes.  Don’t believe me?  Visit www.crossfit.com.  It is the exercise program that I use exclusively.  You don’t have to use it, but I believe it to be the best way to long-term fitness for the general public.

If you want long-term weight loss and health success, the answer is simple:  stop looking for diets that work, and start living a lifestyle that works.


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