The best diet to lose weight is not a diet. If you've been following along with me for any length of time, more than likely you've heard me say, “...diet is a four-letter word...”. And while that literally is true, I also consider “diet” to be in the same category as any number of verboten four-letter words that may, or may not, have escaped from your lips that time you accidentally stubbed your big toe on the coffee table. Even worse actually. Your toe will stop throbbing relatively quickly, but the damage that can be done to your body from dieting can stick around for years.

And now here we are. Emerging from varying degrees of isolation and keeping our distance, where the main attractions for the past two months have been that trip to the grocery store and ordering SkipTheDishes, there are likely more than a few people who, although escaped COVID, the “19” is another story. Pounds I mean. And with never before having experienced the chaos of a pandemic – off work, kids at home, working from home, caring for others, returning travellers, gyms closed, etc. - it's not surprising that many people turned to things of convenience and comfort in a big way while at the same time letting many of our good-for-us routines for food and exercise fall by the wayside. Enter summer.

Sun, shorts, swimsuits, words that should mean fun and smiles, often bring up feelings of fear, shame, panic and guilt. Something that existed even in the pre-COVID years. It's those strong, negative feelings that can override our otherwise good judgement in a moment of desperation. All forms of reasoning go out the window, prompting us to try any number of diets in a effort to lose the extra weight quickly and gain back body confidence. According to statistics however, 99 percent of the people who lose weight on a diet gain it back, and then some. Not the long-term results you were looking for I'm sure. And just to be clear, if this describes you, you are not the problem. The diet is the problem. Diets rely on things like restricting, cutting and counting calories, crazy workouts, a 'miracle pill' in order for you to have success. And are only designed to get you whatever results you can achieve in as long of a period of time as you can stick to the rules. But when those rules impose unrealistic limitations and don't end up working so well in real life, it's not hard to see why 99 percent end up right back where they started. Or worse.

So if your time in isolation had you making a few extra trips to the fridge and ordering take out more often than usual and now just the idea of putting shorts on is making you uncomfortable, you've got a few options. And no matter how frustrating things might be at this moment, I encourage you to ignore that swimsuit model telling you to order that 'miracle diet pill' or 'weight loss coffee' and make a decision to get rid of that extra bloat and weight healthfully.

The good thing is, no matter how much weight you want to lose, before getting started with anything, you'll be more likely to achieve your goals and maintain them by asking yourself these four questions;

  1. Is what I'm about to do backed by science?

  2. Does it make sense to me?

  3. Can I see myself doing this for life?

  4. Would I let me child do this with me?

When you can confidently say 'yes' to all four, congratulations you're about to embark on a program focused on creating health, and not a diet designed for a quick fix. Die-t. It's easy to see the difference when it's spelled out so clearly.

If you're looking to shape up for summer, join the 8 Weeks is All it Takes group on Facebook for healthful tips, recipes and workouts and email [email protected] to book your complimentary health assessment.

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Kelowna Nutritionist STOP dieting, start living! Lose the Bloat, Melt your Belly, Love Your Life!! Last thing, last time, believe it! Sign up to receive my bi-weekly FIT Nutrition blog, and get started today.