According to a health expert, it’s the Pressure Cooker effect. He advises you on how to be one of the 10% that succeed with their diet
Of the thousands of people that started a diet in January, or at any point of the year, 90 per cent will fail and within 12 months of quitting they’ve put additional weight on.
So, why are so many of us unsuccessful when it comes to dieting? Why, once you have failed on a diet, is so hard to try the same diet again? And why do we put on even more weight after each diet?
Andrew West, who runs Obsidian Retreat – a pioneering new health retreat that’s helping people to make long term change as well as lose more than 9 lbs in 7 days, explains how to avoid Flabby February and offers advice based on a number of new studies from across Europe and the US – including the best diet to keep you full and not craving different foods.
Why do most diets fail?
“Well it is not the diet that fails”, says Andrew. “If the diet follows the principal of you consuming less calories than you burn it will be successful.
“But it’s the way the human mind works that’s the problem. As humans we only do any activity for one of two reasons: to move towards pleasure or to move away from pain. Unfortunately to move away from pain is the main driving force for most diets.”
Dieting is often triggered by something – maybe clothes no longer fit, a photo or maybe the comments of others – and we got at it with gusto.
After some initial success, and thinking that you’ve cracked it, the pressure cooker syndrome kicks in.
The pressure cooker syndrome
We often start a diet because we’re under pressure to change. We put in great effort and see success – feel better about ourselves, maybe family and friends start to comment on how good we look, our clothes start to fit or we even drop down a size.
This reduces the pain we were under to achieve and ‘releases the pressure slightly’. It is usually at this point that we decide to modify the plan we have been following, maybe we reduce the exercise or start adding things to the diet.
The result of this is that we don’t lose weight at the same speed and we start to get frustrated. We keep on modifying but do not do the one sure fire way to success, repeat what we did to start with as that now seems really painful.
Why can’t we start the same diet again, it was successful before?
Once the brain knows that a diet is painful, as it means avoiding the so-called pleasures and treats, it won’t go towards pain. So we find going back on the same diet almost impossible. Even if we use will power to start it, if we carry on with the same mindset we will give it up even quicker than we did previously.
Why do we put even more weight on?
If we enter a diet with the wrong mindset, we set ourselves in a program of deprivation. The brain will do everything it can to avoid pain so our pain threshold for putting on weight will now be less than our pain threshold for being overweight. This means it will take even more pain before we are kicked into action; and this is why we put on even more weight each time following a diet program.
The recipe for success – in five simple steps
1. Move towards pleasure.
“This is the way to success in any aspect of your life”, says Andrew. “If we find a way to build something into our lives that is constantly leading us towards pleasure we will want to achieve more and more of it and it will keep driving us on. There is no limit to this approach.
“Rather than thinking that you must change you start thinking of what success would be like for you. You have to see and feel a really strong compelling reason. It might only be a slight change in mindset but it will make all the difference; something as simple as don’t see food as the enemy and eating ‘diet foods’ you don’t like. Learn to cook and enjoy healthy food.
2. Create the correct mindset
To create the right mindset, the first thing is to set a compelling view of what you want the result to be.
· Write down every single reason why this MUST happen
· Write down every single way you can achieve this
· Pick the 20% that will give you 80% of the results and start working a plan around them.
· Start taking massive action towards it. If you have large amounts of weight to lose break it down into small manageable sections with goals at each stage. This way you can celebrate every goal along the way.
3. Think nutrition not calories
Remember – The body doesn’t understand calories. What the body does understand is nutrition. If you feed the body food full of nutrition such as salads, juices and vegetables it fills the stomach quicker, makes you feel fuller for longer and is usually much lower in calories.
Any diet will work as long as you input less than you burn (but this doesn’t mean though that all diets are equal). Calories don’t necessarily fill you and stop you feeling hungry in the same way. Processed foods and other similar foods are often high in calories and low in nutrition. They only fill you in the short term.
Obsidian’s very successful approach is all about nutrition. If you feed the body food full of nutrition such as salads, juices, pulses, beans and vegetables it fills the stomach quicker, makes you feel fuller for longer and is usually much lower in calories, helping you to achieving your weight loss goals.
The more you can add fruit, vegetables, pulses and beans to your diet the less you will want and crave other foods.
Current research shows that diets that limit and eliminate things such as meat and dairy products and replace them with nutritious items like those listed above will help to cleanse the body and help it to control illnesses.
4. Make a plan
Write out a seven day eating plan, incorporating the above, which you believe you can stick to for the next week based on the following criteria:
· Design your eating around how you normally behave
· Identify the times you ate last week when you didn’t need or want to eat. Try to eliminate those completely this week (and more)
· Identify the times when you ate out of habit or because you were bored. Try to eliminate those completely this week (and more)
· Identify your snacking habits from last week either cut out those snacks OR choose something you can snack on which is healthier
· Look at the places you ate last week and see if avoiding those places this week reduces your habit of eating
5. Mindful Eating
You can develop strategies to take more control over food and eating. As above, focusing on when we eat, what we’re eating, why we eat and where we eat a longer term change can be achieved.
Andrew says, “Two of my favourite and most successful techniques include, thinking about a food that we absolutely love and one we detest – then think about the nice item smothered in the horrible one. Most of us then go, yuk, I really couldn’t eat that. This shows us that we CAN change judgement and our thoughts on food – a desire for food doesn’t control us. We decide what we like and we can re-educate ourselves, just by recognizing the tricks the mind can play on us and taking control.
“The second even easier approach is to ensure we’re concentrating on what and how we’re eating – not allowing our minds to be oblivious to it as we watch TV or simply scoff it down while doing something else. Slow down, really taste the food, chew properly, put your knife and fork down in between mouthfuls and really try and look out for the signal from your stomach that it’s full. Even, get into the habit of leaving something on your plate – just to show yourself that you don’t have to eat everything if you’re no longer full.”
The Obsidian Way
Attending a health retreat can really help to make a longer-term change. The approach at Obsidian Retreat is not to convert everyone to a vegetarian, vegan or nutritarian diet but to show people that there is another way.
The Obsidian Way uses successful methods of many of the world’s health and nutrition experts and teaches people how to modify them to their own needs and conditions, tackling the mind, diet and lifestyle – not just encouraging a new diet in isolation, without introducing mindset change.
For a free report on “Why 90% of diets are not successful and how to be one of the 10% that are” visit www.obsidianretreat.com