When Diets Go Bad

Anything can go bad. Well, maybe not Twinkies. But almost anything, if it hangs around long enough, can begin to sour.

If it is a diet, or even a workout, it can simply stop working for you. Why? Because your body is a complex creation which responds constantly to every type of input it receives, and always searches for equilibrium. If you are losing weight, your body is actually trying to stop that process and return to a neutral, non-losing state. When you cut calories, your body responds by decreasing your metabolic rate to match the new caloric level, thereby conserving your now precious energy and halting that pesky weightloss problem.

In a similar way, our bodies quickly become accustomed to the workout we choose. When we first begin a running, walking, swimming, (insert your current workout here) regimen, our bodies are shocked. They can't believe it! Our poor neglected muscles are suddenly being asked to perform actions they forgot they knew. But pretty quickly, those muscles get with the program, get stronger, and immediately become more efficient at producing those particular movements. Therefore, once a workout becomes commonplace, we actually start to burn LESS calories in order to complete it.

This is why I always favor the MIX IT UP type of workout. In all of the classes I teach, something changes every week. Sometimes we use light weights and sometimes we go heavier. Sometimes we use a large stability ball and sometimes a small medicine ball. But what about your diet?

I believe in order for a diet to prove itself, you need to follow it religiously for at least a month. That means counting blocks, or counting calories, or counting points, or measuring whatever needs to be measured for a full month. At that point, you will have a pretty good idea of whether or not this diet works for you. You will have lost some weight or not. And if you are not happy with your results, change it up.

Any diet, even a perfect plan like The Zone Diet, can be tinkered with to make it work better for each individual. Every diet has tons of choices (or it SHOULD!) which you can vary in order to keep your body losing weight. And once in a while, it will not hurt to have a cheat day. In fact, a cheat day or meal can help to reset your metabolism by tricking your body into thinking that calories are going to be abundant and therefore it is safe to release some excess fat to burn.

Don't let your diet or your workout go bad. Switch it up and see how the change can work for you.