If you’ve been trying to keep your New Year’s resolution and it’s getting harder and harder by the day, you’re not alone.
In fact, you’ve beaten the statistics if you’ve lasted this long. By January 15th, 90% of people who make New Year’s resolutions have already broken them.
That’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of making resolutions. They set you up to fail. (Read this blog post for what I encourage you to do instead.)
Most diets you hear about and buy books on also set you up for failure. They’re based on deprivation and taking away.
Depriving yourself of what you want just doesn’t work and it’s the quickest way to sabotage your health!
How many of us know a person (or have been that person) who shot for a huge goal like losing 50 pounds or going from out of shape to running a marathon, only to slip back into old habits within a month or two?
I knew I needed to kick my sugar habit when I would eat whole bags of candy every day and two or three bowls of Lucky Charms for a mid-day snack (hard to believe, isn’t it?)…
The thought of depriving myself of that sugar was enough to keep me from even cutting back on it.
That was just never going to work for me.
So how did I eventually beat it and get off sugar for good? By adding and not taking away.
By doing this, eventually the good outweighed the bad. I didn’t have room for all of that sugar because I was full of other tasty foods like avocados, cashews, smoothies, and greens.
This is how it is with anything you want in life, right? You take small, baby steps toward what you want and eventually it becomes a habit and a habit becomes a way of life that can sustain itself.
When making any lifestyle change, my philosophy is always moderation, NOT deprivation!
Now compare that with most diet advice in general. “Stop what you’re eating,” “cut out 50% of your calories,” “you can’t eat that ever again,” and so on.
Oh, and “start exercising way more than you do now even though you’re not going to have any energy.”
No wonder so many people fail at their diets (what’s the first 3 letters of DIEt?)!
That’s not a motivation problem… It’s a system that sets you up for failure!
Beyond that, when we break them down, and look at each of the popular diets out there, we REALLY begin to see why they don’t work for people.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most common diets today…
Like several of the diets below, there are some really good points to the Paleo diet.
It removes most grains and sugars from the Standard American Diet (or SAD for short). It focuses on real foods rather than processed junk. It eliminates dairy foods under the theory that our ancient ancestors weren’t eating cow’s milk products.
It also encourages healthy fats and oils like flaxseed and coconut. This is sounding pretty good, right?
In fact, 80% of the Paleo Diet is ALKALINE (yes, all they are doing is following my 80/20 rule when it comes to eating).
Unfortunately, that’s about where it stops.
20% of the Paleo Diet does incorporate acid forming foods, but because the alkaline component is so powerful, it’s enough to deal with all this acid and still allow you to get good results.
Paleo encourages you to load up on lots of animal-based protein and unhealthy fats. And while it does urge eating fresh fruits (some of which is very high in sugar which will ferment and turn to ACID and ALCOHOL) and veggies, those are secondary to eating meats.
The problem with this approach is that it’s tough for the body to digest all of that animal protein. It overloads the liver, gallbladder, and digestive system. And it clogs up the body with acid because all animal protein is acidic, so it depletes your body’s resources to fight the acid.
Like Paleo, a vegan diet has some great things going for it. Namely, it’s plant based. It eliminates all of that acidic animal protein and dairy products completely.
Unfortunately, vegans can also be super unhealthy, in fact, there are many vegans I have come across who are the SICKEST PEOPLE ON THE PLANET!
They become ‘pastatarians’ and ‘carbohydratetarians’ and often replace meat and dairy with processed carbs and sugar.
That’s no better than eating a mostly meat-based diet like Paleo or Atkins in terms of the acid the body is constantly fending off.
Don’t get me wrong, I eat around a 90-95% vegan diet. So you can be vegan and feel really great, but it requires eating mostly plants and nuts and healthy Omega 3-6-9 fats and staying away from everything else!
It is possible to eat a low calorie diet and eat healthy and alkaline. But it’s also possible to eat a low calorie diet and eat all kinds of processed junk that does the body no good.
The problem with the low calorie diet goes back to the deprivation issue we covered earlier. By restricting yourself to a certain number, you’re constantly feeling like you’re living with a lack of food. And that’s a recipe for disaster.
The bigger problem with this is that when you have low caloric intake, by the end of the day, you feel RAVENOUS and you will go towards more of those carb loaded, empty calories that are high in gluten and sugar and very acidic to your body.
If you’re eating nutritious foods that happen to be low in calories, great. But if so, there’s no reason to count calories. You can just enjoy all the abundance and lose weight in the process!
When going alkaline, perhaps my favorite part is the days of calorie counting are over! That’s right, you can eat as much and as often of anything, as long as its alkaline.
I think most people know by now that the low fat fad of the 1990’s is over for good reason. At the same time that people started eating less and less fat, they became more and more overweight and diseased.
However, there are still people out there who insist on eating a low fat diet, often at the urging of their doctors, who haven’t caught up to the fact that fat doesn’t cause heart disease. There are plenty of healthy fats out there that actually help your heart function.
Not only does eating low fat not keep the heart (or anything else) healthy, it includes all kinds of processed foods that replace fat with sugar, salt, and chemicals.
Remember this – there are fats that HEAL, and fats that KILL, and when you choose the right fats, you will be healthier and skinnier.
This is the diet fad du jour, and while there are some great foods that stem from the Mediterranean region, this diet, like the others, has its problems.
The positives are that it doesn’t restrict fat as long as it comes from healthy, natural sources, and encourages real foods over processed foods and sugar.
However, it relies heavily on grains including wheat as the basis for the diet. And it applauds moderate meat, fish, and dairy consumption. As we’ve covered, those are all acidic foods that the body has to fight off.
What to Do Instead
If you’re feeling down about not sticking to your diet, it’s time to change your approach. Quit the diet game. No more restrictions.
Instead, start with one change and make it each and every day.
Remember, add instead of take away. That’s how you’re going to make lasting changes that lead to the weight loss you want. And as long as you keep the alkaline principles at the foundation of all that you do, you will move TOWARDS health!
Add a dark, leafy green to something you eat every day. Sub your usual lunch meat for avocado. Make your afternoon snack almonds and dried fruit instead of a cupcake. Start your morning with AlkaMind Daily Greens so you’re getting a boost of plant-based nutrition.
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