The diet industry is huge. And by huge I mean $20 billion huge. They make their profits off of uninformed women and men who want to make a change, who want to feel better about themselves and who truly want to make their body better. They turn to companies/programs like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, the HCG diet (I do not care if the HCG diet is "doctor trusted". Any diet that tells you to take something to lose your appetite and eat very little calories is not okay, not safe and will in no way lead you to be healthy) and the like because they advertise that you will live a healthier life. This sounds great, but if these companies are so great then WHY do people gain the weight back almost immediately after they stop their chosen program? I'll tell you why. It's not a "mistake" or some coincidence that this happens. It's because of the one thing many other major industries all strive for: Money.
How does this industry make such a HUGE profit? I've seen it many times from friends and family members. A person wants to lose weight and that is their primary goal. They're not too sure how to do this on their own and a nutritionist can be very expensive. Plus, many people want to or think there is an easy way to lose weight; a magical program or pill that will make you look like Beyonce or one of their skinny friends. So, the person sees X diet program being advertised and they see how "so many people are doing X program and lost X amount of pounds and now love life" blah blah blah. So, what do they do? They of course buy it and use it. Heck, I would too.
Then, the person starts on X program which tells them to restrict calorie intake and may also allow them to buy food from them. Food of which is filled with GMOs, preservatives and a novel of ingredients. Of course with a calorie deficit this person will lose weight and may lose it fast if they used to eat a lot more calories. The person loses X amount of pounds, feels great and at some point stops the program because these kinds of programs are not sustainable for anyone. A few weeks later this person gains it back and maybe even more than when they started! The person feels upset, unhappy, discouraged and so goes back to X diet program or a different one and starts this whole process over again. This is a yo-yo diet and it's what the diet industry depends on so YOU can make them profitable. This is cruel in my opinion and actually causes a great health risk in people.
The reason a person gains weight back after a program like this? Well, that program isn't teaching them how to live a healthy lifestyle. They're teaching them to count calories and to eat low-fat or low-carb or low-sugar or a mixture of the three. I've been there and I've done that. Basically, all the low-fat and low-carb and low-sugar products you see in grocery stores are FILLED with preservatives, fillers, and chemicals made in a lab. Our bodies were not made to eat this! Our bodies are not machines and cannot actually digest these chemicals and so it stores it in the fatty tissues of the body which keeps those chemicals in your body for a long time. Also, when you go off of a calorie deficit, say you go from a 1300 calorie diet to an 1800 calorie diet, your body will definitely gain weight if you're not exercising.
That brings me to my next point: exercise. I have never seen a program like Jenny Craig or the like really suggest to exercise. Let's face it, our bodies NEED exercise! Whether that's just walking for 30 minutes a day or if you're weight training, your body needs it to metabolize fast and actually keep weight off. It's no error that these kinds of programs don't enforce exercise - it's simply that they don't want you to. They don't really want you to be truly happy. They want you to yo-yo so that you keep coming back and keep paying them money. It's a big scam with a very thought-out, well designed disguise and is a trap. I've seen the diet industry trap people into yo-yo diets and trap them into this constant love/hate relationship with their bodies.
Let me tell you, you should love your body at all costs. Treat it well, take care of it and you will see results that truly last. Eat whole foods, stay away from processed foods and foods with a large amount of ingredients. If you can't pronounce the ingredient then don't eat it. Eat a balanced diet and do not restrict your calories - actually, STOP calorie counting! If you must track something then track your macros (macro-nutrients are grams of carbs, protein and fat. You can calculate how many of each you should be eating by clicking here) instead! Exercise. I don't mean go run a marathon or go to the gym for 2 hours a day. I mean take a fast-paced walk for 35 minutes or find a program that offers an exercise regime that works for you. There are many out there including Tone It Up and the Bikini Body Training Guide. Both of these offer amazing workout and nutrition guides that GUIDE you and don't RESTRICT you. Stop weighing yourself so often and start taking progress pictures instead. The number on the scale does not always reflect what your body actually is. If you're gaining muscle the weight on the scale will go up, but that doesn't mean your getting fat!
There is no magic program, pill or diet that will make you thin for life or give you that six pack. In order to get the body and health you want and deserve you'll need to work hard! I know that's not what many of you want to hear, but it's the truth and is a very rewarding truth at that. If you were to ask anyone who has been living a healthy lifestyle (by this I mean exercising well and eating a balanced diet with at least 1600 calories a day) if all of the workouts were worth it, if all of the money towards good food was worth it, if their gym membership was worth it - I bet you anything they'll all say yes. There is a difference between those who are on a low-calorie, fad diet program and those who are truly living a healthy lifestyle and you can see that difference. The person who is living a healthy lifestyle has energy, is glowing, has definition in their body and most of all FEELS great!
This post was not meant to be a Debbie-downer, but more of a wake-up call. You have to know that the diet industry isn't very helpful but the fitness and health industry is helpful. I want you to be winning with your journey in fitness whether that's for weight loss or for muscle toning. The way to always be making gains and to truly win is to ditch the diets and start living a healthy lifestyle - you will not regret it and your body will be so happy you made the change!