How many diets have you tried over the years? Do you think that the number of diets you’ve tried is pretty high? Suppose you’ve tried 20 diets over the years. Sounds like a pretty high number, right? Well, according to a poll of 2,000 people earlier this year, get this, the average number of fad diets the respondents tried: 126. [SOURCE]
While there are reasonably sensible diet plans out there (The Mediterranean Diet and South Beach Diet come to mind), the majority of protocols are designed to help people lose weight fast.
So let’s say you have a wedding to attend and you need (or want) to lose 10 pounds to look slimmer in a dress, what should you do?
Should you try the cabbage soup diet? (Two or three servings a day of fat-free cabbage soup with other foods assigned on each day.) How about the Master Cleanse? (Up to a 21-day fast of water with fresh lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper and nothing else.) Or what about a juice cleanse? (Most juice cleanses are liquid-only diets consisting of high-sugar fruit juices that lack nutrient-dense vegetables, fiber and protein.)
Reasons Why Diet Success Doesn’t Last
With the average person trying so many fad diets, it’s no wonder the weight loss industry is worth approximately $70 billion. (2018 estimate; SOURCE.)
Why do you think dieters can’t keep off the weight? Is it because most of these diets fail to educate people how to keep the weight off; because there is so much conflicting nutrition advice; because of deceptive marketing tactics (example: the idea that fat is unhealthy); because fad diets lack nutrition and cause unwanted side effects such as low energy and dizziness; because bread is just too satisfying to give up; because of a lack of will power and commitment; because people revert back to their old habits once a cosmetic goal is achieved (like losing 10 pounds for the wedding)?
The answer is yes to all of these reasons. However, the number one reason most people struggle with long-term, sustained weight management involves something completely different.
And the number one reason diet success doesn’t last for most people can be summed up in one word: psychology.
Most Diets Don’t Fill The Body With Maximum Nutrition
If you want to lose weight quickly, we recommend combining intermittent fasting and replacing at least one meal a day with the Super Shake. But even if you have weight loss success with this plan, we admit this method does not entirely teach people who fiercely battle cravings day in and day out how to banish those cravings for good.
It’s certainly true that one way to banish cravings is by consuming superfoods every single day and limiting your intake of empty-calorie foods and drinks. As we’ve said before and we’ll say it again, your body doesn’t want to be FILLED up to maximum capacity. Rather, your body wants to be FUELED with the highest-quality, cleanest-burning, most nutrient-dense foods. That’s why this award-winning powder is the foundation of BōKU’s “living your best life” system.
When you eat high-calorie, high-sugar or high-sodium comfort foods or heavy, starchy meals, the reason why you may find yourself hungry within a couple of hours after indulging is that your body is actually starved of nutrients—despite your stomach feeling full.
The Battle Of The Bulge Begins In The Brain
And this brings us back to the missing psychological element from most diet programs. The reason most people never get over cravings is that the brain, at least when it comes to food, is constantly in a battle between the conscious and subconscious brain.
When it comes to the conscious versus the unconscious brain, the conscious brain is the Washington Generals and the subconscious brain is the Harlem Globetrotters. Don’t get the basketball analogy? In other words: The subconscious brain always wins.
The conscious brain might tell you, “I better not walk down the ice cream aisle in the supermarket otherwise I’m going to buy a few gallons.” Your conscious brain may even tell you that if there is ice cream in your freezer, you know you’re going to feel guilty or ashamed or think self-loathing thoughts after eating it.
But you see, the conscious brain is powerless against your non-thinking part of the brain, which contains imprinted, deeply-ingrained memories from childhood of which you may not even be aware. And these memories most often make us feel safe, protected and comforted.
As an example, let’s say that when you were a kid, whenever you got hurt, your mom tried to make everything all better by giving you ice cream. No matter how painful the ouchie, the instant your mom served you the ice cream, everything was ok in the world.
For some sexual assault survivors, the unconscious brain feels threatened by weighing less, especially if the attack occurred when the victim weighed much less; putting on extra weight becomes a defense mechanism.
The Psychology of Weight Loss Is Desperately Needed In Diets
People with weight-loss struggles don’t lack willpower. Obese people are not weak. In addition to compromised genetic conditions (such as a lack of beneficial gut bacteria), overweight people are in a perpetual losing battle with food associations. Until you no longer subconsciously associate unhealthy food with pleasure but rather with pain, you’ll likely still struggle with cravings—even if you manage to avoid the ice cream aisle for months or years to come.
Thankfully, there are some programs that include the psychological components of overeating that have recently entered the marketplace. With 40% of Americans either overweight or obese, more are desperately needed. However, understanding the relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind when it comes to food is the critical first step to sustainable weight loss.