I have seen many people fail on diets for a verity of reasons. However, recently I have noticed an attitude or belief that I have not recognized in the past. Since I have noticed this belief, I have come to see it in many. I have even come to recognize that I have fell into this trap from time to time.
So what is this belief? It is simply this: That adhering to part of a diet should give an individual part of the results of that diet. In practical terms it looks something like this. A person starts a low-carb diet. After a few weeks he notices that he is not losing anything. However, upon review, he realizes that he is really only adhering to about half or three quarters of the diet. He thinks to himself (and here is where the poor belief system comes into play), “I should be losing something. I know I’m not following the diet perfectly but I am following about 75% of it. I should be losing something–shouldn’t I?” Can you relate to this story? I know I can.
To complicate things, perhaps you have seen a friend who needs to lose a some weight and got results by cutting back just a bit on their carb intake. The question, then, needs to be asked: Why does following part of diet work for some and not others? The answer to this lies in what kind of body style one has and how much one needs to lose.
For example, someone with a bean-pole body style who has only 20 pounds to lose can see great results from only following part of a diet. But, even a bean-pole who has 50 pounds to lose is going to have to do better than 50 or even 70% of a diet.
However, for those of us who put on weight easily and have more than 25 pounds to lose, we need to be super strict on the low-carb protocol particularly at the beginning. Why is this? Simply put, doing 50% or even 75% of a diet is not enough to reset your fat burning hormones.
The truth is you need 10 days to 2 weeks in order to down regulate your fat storing hormones and up regulate your fat burning ones. So, if you are strict for three days, but on that forth day you eat a meal that spikes your insulin levels, you are not going to lose weight. If you repeat this process for a few weeks, you might get discouraged.
Fixing this is a matter of being honest with yourself. Are you the type of a person who puts on weight easily? Do you have more than 20 pounds to lose? Are you just starting out on a low-carb diet? If any or all three of these are true, then you need to be as strict as possible. The results will be worth it?