Most food you buy at the grocery store has an expiration date, a use by date, or a best by date. Your diet doesn’t come with any such a date. In fact, the best diets don’t have an expiration date. If you think your diet to lose weight has an expiration date, a date when you are finished–then you are thinking of dieting all wrong.
The Best Diets Are Forever
A true diet is forever. It really is. I know you may be sitting there thinking, “No, it isn’t. A diet is temporary.”
Not really. Not if you look at it with a long lens.
Not even according to the trusty dictionary. One dictionary definition of the word diet is “Food and drink regularly provided or consumed.”
Sure, some diets that you go on to drop pounds are temporary because they are horrible, impossible to follow for long, and unhealthy, but I dislike those types of diets immensely.
Why? Because a temporary diet is often a fad diet that encourages unhealthy behaviors and rarely offers sustainable weight loss.
The truth is that a healthy diet never ends. A healthy diet allows you lose the weight you should and then maintain the weight loss for years.
Diets That Must Expire
If you are like a lot of dieters, you’ve been on a temporary diet a time or two. You might have tried one of these popular diets that everyone knows won’t work for long:
- Any diet cleanse
- Grapefruit Diet
- Cottage Cheese Diet
- All Soup Diet
- Jenny Craig (because who could afford the food forever?)
- HCG Diet
- Baby Food Diet
I’m even going to go out on a limb and include the Atkins diet in temporary diets. Now I’m sure there are a few people who manage to follow its strict tenets for the long haul, but those people are few and far between.
Definition of a Diet That Doesn’t Expire
The key to finding a diet that doesn’t expire is understanding what that looks like. Of course practically anyone can lose weight eating mainly cottage cheese for a week, but can they keep the weight off?
A diet that doesn’t expire is one you can easily continue even after you reach your goal weight.
The only thing you should need to change is the number of calories you eat. For example, if you lose weight by following a sensible diet such as the DASH diet or even Weight Watchers, to maintain your weight after you reach your goal, simply add enough calories to stop losing weight and not gain any of your lost pounds back.
A diet that doesn’t expire is the easiest kind of diet because it flows naturally into a lifelong habit of nourishing your body with good food.
People Do Maintain Weight Loss
There are a lot of articles written about how dieting doesn’t work and virtually no one ever maintains their weight after dieting. That’s just not true. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that about 20 percent of people studied who had lost at least 10 percent of their initial body weight had maintained that loss for at least 12 months.
I know it’s tempting to try one of the popular diets that have an expiration date. They seem fun at the beginning. The diet rules give you a lot to talk about with your friends, and everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon.
Do yourself a favor and just skip those crazy, unrealistic diets that don’t result in long-term weight loss. Find a diet that doesn’t expire. Look for a diet that uses real food, encourages exercise, and fits with your vision of a healthy lifestyle.
When you find that perfect combination, you will be surprised by how painless it is to lose weight and transition easily into weight maintenance.