I’m all about getting results. I really do not care what method one decides to use as long as it is working (and its legal). So if you are one of those people who have lost a significant amount of weight and have kept it off though shake-supplements, then please ignore this rant. However, if you among the vast majority of people who who have failed at this kind of diet (like myself), then listen up.
As a side note, when I use the term “shake-supplement,” or “shake-supplement diet,” I am referring to those diets that use a shake or bar to supplement a meal. I am not referring to shakes as a vitamin supplement that one might have in addition to meals. I’m not necessarily endorsing those either, but I am certainly not referring to them in this article.
One of the reasons why diets fail is that people think of them as diets and not lifestyle changes. In other words, people think that they can do something different with their eating habits for a short period of time, get results, and then go back to the way they were eating. But what ends up happening is they just gain the weight back as soon as they revert to their old eating habits. In most cases, dieters also gain a few extra pounds and are worse off then when they started.
This is the mindset for many of those who are on a shake-supplement diet. They are not thinking, “Hey, I’m going to drink a shake for breakfast and/or lunch for the rest of my life.” That is not usually the attitude. Generally, this is something that people do for a short time to drop a few pounds. And guess what? It works! People will often drop 5, 10, 15, even 20 pounds! But they have not made a lifestyle change. As a result, as soon as they revert back to their old eating patterns, those pounds come right back.
Another reason why diets fail has to do with a manageability factor. Any diet that is really going to work has to be a diet that one can live with for the rest of one’s life.
So let us imagine that someone is using these shake diets with a long term goal in mind. I’m sure that is the case for at least some people who try these supplements. However, this kind of diet is simply unmanageable, and cannot it be lived out in the long run. What do I mean by this? Let me explain using some examples that I have gone though personally and have also seen with many people who have tried these diets.
Your alarm clock did not go off, and now you are late for work. You jump out of bed and do not have time to drink that morning shake. Furthermore, in the rush, you forget to pack your afternoon shake. Lunch time comes. What do you do? Don’t eat? Eat something bad for you? Neither option is good. If you eat something bad, then you are not really on the diet and its not going to work. If you decide to go ahead and starve, you will usually overeat as well as make unhealthy choices at dinner.
How often does this happen? What I have seen is that this does not usually happen during the first few weeks. But after that, it happens more than not particularly with those who are not “morning people.” Then, they are off the diet more than they are on the diet. Next, they are off the diet altogether. Why? Because this is simply an impractical way to live.
Or here is another example:
You have packed your shake for lunch and had your morning one as well. Your friend calls you up, and says, “Let’s go out for a bite, my treat.” What do you do? You may decline the offer for the first few of weeks, while your resolve is strong. Or you may go and decide just to enjoy the conversation but refrain from eating. Again, how long can this last? Are you never going to go out for lunch ever again? Or if you do, how long will it be before you break down and decide to eat something unhealthy in addition to the sake you just had? The answer is not long; just a few weeks. Then those pounds come back along will all the feelings of regret and self hatred. Why? Those kinds of diets are unmanageable.
Of course the shake diet is not the only kind of diet that fits into these paradigms. there are many diets that cannot be lived out on a day-by-day basis. If you are on one of those plans, quit!
I am so glad that I am not on a diet but have made a lifestyle change. Because of this, I can go out with friends and eat at almost any restaurant. Most places have a low-carb option. And if there is not a low carb-option I can easily create one. If I miss breakfast for some reason, not to worry (I’m not counting calories), at my next opportunity to eat, I can make healthy choices and not starve. The diet I am on is a diet (lifestyle) I can live with!