The word often preached on FitMag is lifestyle change over short term diet. Why? Simply put, short term diets are for those who are looking to compete or get ready for a specific event – it isn’t necessarily the healthiest way to live day by day and after all most people want to attain a reasonably physique and progress gradually from there rather than ‘’yo-yo’’ throughout the year.
Of course, there is a time and place for a ‘’diet’’ where a little suffering is embraced in order to get the initial results however beyond that there needs to be an element of balance otherwise you will fall into the age old ‘’bodybuilder’’ trap of ‘’dieting’’ from one month to the next. It is easy enough saying it, but what is the difference between an outright lifestyle switch and hardcore ‘’diet’’ and why should you pick the former? Here are the trade-offs and often the reason why lifestyle switches wins.
Psychologically committing to a ‘’diet’’ means that you are telling yourself certain foods are off the menu, permanently for the entire duration of the process. For some, that builds momentum to the point it becomes an unbearable cloud over your head on a daily basis. In contrast, choosing a lifestyle change over an infinite period of time accounts for a few treats here and there. With that said you know that and don’t feel so restricted which can make quite a substantial difference to your mind-set during the process.
The 8% rule dictates that once you complete a diet which ends in a high calorie deficit you will in all likelihood add the same amount of body fat you had on before and an additional 8%! Not only is this demoralising and counterproductive it becomes a problem as you flirt with metabolic damage in the long run. Ever seen very lean people struggle to get themselves in shape 10 years down the line, having used this approach over and over again?
Routine is something we as humans love, whether the routine is missing breakfast every day and replacing it with a coffee or nailing a steak upon waking. Diets in the conventional context can constantly present a burden to the individual trying to adapt to new routines. Again, there are times when this is indeed necessary however making total lifestyle changes makes the whole thing easier rather than flitting between diet and non-diet.
As somebody once said, the first 3 letters of ‘’diet’’ spell die – whether or not there is anything in that is yet to be seen, however the bigger picture is the one you should pay more attention to if long term health and a physique to keep is the goal. Lifestyle changes over diet every time!