6 Reasons Why You Don’t Need to Diet

Why is it that the FIRST thing most people think about when wanting to lose weight is to "go on a diet?"

Well it’s the obvious answer due to all the diet products that are promoted and sold everywhere saying that’s what you should do…

However, it’s by no means the correct answer. In fact studies have shown that as much as 95% of people who "go on a diet" regain any weight that they lost while on the diet.

So I’m NOT a big fan of diets. I also don’t recommend diets because the reality is that you don’t need them to lose weight.

Here are 6 reasons why you not only don’t need to diet, but why you shouldn’t diet…

1. They teach you the wrong approach

Most people see diets as a short term fix because this is how they are promoted by most weight loss companies who only emphasise "lose your weight fast".

How many times do you hear them talk about long term, sustainable results? Very, very rarely.

The result is that it teaches people the wrong way of thinking altogether and badly affects their chances of losing weight and keeping it off.

Most people think "I will go on this diet for a few months, lose this weight, and then come off the diet". This way of thinking ruins their chances of success and guarantees that they’ll fail.

If you want to lose weight, and keep it off for life, it’s all about a change in lifestyle, not a quick fix.

2. They can’t be sustained

Most diets involve either a restrictive, unusual, or dull way of eating, sometimes all of these.

While you may be able to keep it up for the short term and lose some weight you certainly don’t want to eat like that for the rest of your life.

Therefore, the diet comes to an end, you return to more normal eating habits, and the weight returns just as quickly as any weight that was lost.

3. You lose muscle

The aim of virtually all diets is to make you consume fewer calories in one way or another so that you’re then able to lose weight. However, with a lot of diets they take it too far and you end up being on a low calorie diet.

The problem with this is that your body then burns muscle as well as fat for energy, so you lose weight from both fat and muscle.

While this may sound good, the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to lose weight from fat while maintaining your muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat as well as keeping you healthy and strong.

Therefore, with less muscle on your body you need to remain on a low calorie diet after you’ve lost the weight just to keep it off. I’m sure you can appreciate that it’s not very enjoyable living every day feeling like you can barely eat anything.

So again this isn’t sustainable over the long term and the weight returns as soon as you begin eating more normally again.

4. Your metabolism slows

The low number of calories that you consume with most diets also slows your metabolism.

Your body feels like it’s starving which means that it tries to conserve energy. Therefore, it becomes harder and harder to lose weight until you struggle to lose any weight at all.

That’s why people can be on an extremely low calorie diet, yet still be struggling to lose any weight. How demoralising is that?

So again they return to normal eating and any weight lost while on the diet piles back on again.

5. You lack energy

If you’re using a low calorie diet then you’re going to be struggling with energy all day and every day…

Also, if you’ve got a restrictive diet where you’re eating the same foods all the time then you’re not getting the right variety and quantity of vitamins to keep your energy high.

That’s why most diets leave you feeling rubbish and drained. You haven’t got enough energy to get you through the day, let alone do any exercise such as running that would be a great boost in helping you lose weight.

Low carbohydrate diets are the worst for this because carbohydrates are an important part of fuelling your running and improving your running ability.

The better runner you become the more calories you can burn and the easier it is to lose weight, but without any energy it’s like trying to run with lead weights around your ankles.

6. They don’t get long term results

All of these reasons why you shouldn’t diet lead to the overall major drawback which is that diets don’t get long term results. Yes, you may get a short term fix but any weight loss will quickly return.

And what’s the point in losing weight only for it to return and then have to keep losing it all over again? There’s no point at all, but that’s still what most people do.

It’s just a waste of time and effort. Plus there’s all the mental torture that people put themselves through.

Do it the right way, like I show you in my running programs, and you don’t have to diet at all. If fact, if you’ve already been dieting then you’ll be able to eat more while still getting better weight loss results.

Just to summarise

If you want to lose weight and keep it off for life then it’s all about changing your lifestyle. If you don’t change your lifestyle then any short term weight that you lose will come back on later.

Improving your lifestyle means eating healthier with things like avoiding over-eating, cutting back on high fat and unhealthy foods, and choosing healthier alternatives.

Improving your lifestyle also means doing plenty of exercise. This improves your physical and mental health greatly, and it also makes it a lot easier to lose weight because of the extra calories you burn.

So aim improve your lifestyle rather than "going on a diet" and you’re guaranteed to get better weight loss results…

You’ll get results that are sustainable over the long term. Plus you’ll find the whole process a lot more enjoyable and rewarding.


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3 Responses to 6 Reasons Why You Don’t Need to Diet

  1. dana says:

    This is a rather complex subject, but it is explained in one of the simple “7 major mistakes pople do while running”. The one that says that you should NOT eat more, because you are running, rather improve the quality of the food you are eating.
    Right, James?
    If you think you CAN”T do it, give yourself a few days, or even weeks, until your stomach gets used to the new regime, and you are on your way!
    Then, you don’t even have to think of it!
    Happy running and healthy eating to all!

    • James says:

      That’s right Dana. You also mentioned something that relates to creating new habits.

      It can be difficult to alter eating or exercise habits but it does get easier to keep it up the more you do it, and the stronger you make the habit.

      • dana says:

        I love and collect quotes. One of may favorites, is by Queen Elisabeth II, a lady of many virtues, who once said:
        “It’s all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you’re properly trained”.
        How true!
        And again, thank you James for “teaching” all the runners the keys to running and proper eating towards fitness and health!