6 Reasons crash dieting sucks and 6 realistic things you can do instead

Crash dieting sucks for a reason and you know it. Click to read the full post about realistic changes you can make instead. Also, you can snag the free checklist after you click on the image.

Impacting your mental state

Crash Dieting

This one should be self-explanatory, right? Diets = horrible. But what's behind that discouragement and anxiety related to crash dieting? 

Crash dieting gives you quick results that don't last, so you end up with unrealistic expectations. Maybe you go a week of only drinking lemon water and lose 10 pounds. You're stoked because you knew there had to be a way to lose weight. 

But then you gain it back. And you actually gain back 15 pounds, not just 10.

Crap.

You're worse off than where you started!

News flash: nobody can survive on only lemon water (or whatever crash dieting you've tried lately). Only drinking lemon water for the rest of your life would mean you would starve yourself.. and it would also mean you wouldn't have a very long (or enjoyable) life. 

Not only that, but you for some reason decided that you HAD to lose 10 pounds by NEXT WEEK and you didn't care what you put your body through to make it happen.

Well guess what? Not only are you miserable because your clothes are even tighter than when you started, but you're also setting yourself up for failure. 

If I came to you and said "hey, I have a diet that'll make you gain 5 pounds!"

Would you try it?

Probably not. Unless you're actually trying to gain weight and in that case, it's a whole different situation.  

What about if I said, "There's this really weird concoction that tastes like crap and makes you miserable, but if you drink it for a week you'll be on-trend, me and some other friends are doing it, so being miserable together might be fun (what!?). And the best part is you won't lose any weight, but you'll be exactly the same when we're done. So, you in?"

You're joking, right? I'm being a bit facetious, but this is no joke.

Why wouldn't you try a diet that made you gain 5 pounds? Or even more importantly, why would you try a diet that made you miserable for a week and let you end up right back where you started? You wouldn't. Because you're smarter than that. 

I know it's easy to buy into the "drop 10 pounds in 10 days!" nonsense you might see. I know there's a part of you in the back of your head that's thinking: "quick-fix? Maybe it's possible..." But I also know that there's a bigger part of your brain telling you that 10 pounds in 10 days is unrealistic and definitely unsustainable.

Don't believe the lies.

Healthy Lifestyle

Instead of crash-dieting, create healthy habits so you won't have to freak out when a group of high school friends wants to get together. No matter what the occasion, you'll already be ready. What a relief! 

A healthy lifestyle allows you to create healthy habits with the time, food and preferences that are unique to you. It's something that's 100% individualized toward YOUR personality. 

Small, healthy changes over time lead to long-lasting results that are actually sustainable. 

Imagine that. You don't have to starve yourself or hit the gym for 3 hours. You just have to create good habits and be consistent. 

So what do you do? Implement healthy changes that are realistic. As you slowly create healthy habits, you'll set yourself up for success. You'd be amazed what that does for your mental state.

As you're consistent, you'll be creating habits for yourself. As you meet your goals, you'll have that sense of accomplishment and as you start to see your body physically change, you'll gain the confidence you've been looking for.

Not only are all of these healthy changes good for you mentally, but eating healthy and exercising regularly helps you to better handle stress, be more organized and more productive. There are SO MANY positive benefits of a healthy lifestyle and they all do wonders for you both physically and mentally! 

If you want to feel like a winner and take back control, a healthy lifestyle is for you! Snag the checklist below to make sure you stay on track.

Time-frame

Crash Dieting

When you hear someone talk about a crash diet, what time-frame is associated with it? 24 hours, 48 hours, 3 days, 7 days, 10 days, 14 days?

In 70 years, you have over 25,000 days. If you spend just 14 of those days doing a crash diet, that's only 0.05% of 70 years - not even half a percent!

Talk about unrealistic. There's no way you can realistically expect to spend less than half of one percent of your time "eating healthy" (in quotes because I don't even think most diets are healthy) -- and expect to end up with your dream body and confidence. No way, no how. It doesn't even make sense. 

Crash diets are faulty from the beginning. Short term solutions are never real solutions. You know - you can put a band-aid on the problem or you can actually fix the problem. Crash diets are band-aids, and they're not even clean band-aids. They often leave you unmotivated, deflated and frustrated. 

Would you ever put a dirty band-aid on an open wound? Gross, no! So why try to fix an actual problem or sensitive frustration that includes your entire body, health and confidence -- with a dirty band-aid? Crash dieting is a dirty band-aid. And if you haven't yet, you need to start looking at it that way. 

Healthy Lifestyle

The time-frame of a healthy lifestyle is built right into the name. LIFEstyle. It's called a healthy LIFEstyle because it's designed to keep you healthy for your entire life. 

Shocker, right? 

Don't you think it's interesting that there's basically nothing out there that lasts longer than 90 days? Don't get me wrong, 90 days isn't a crash diet, but it's definitely not anywhere near a lifetime. Out of 70 years, 90 days is almost a half percent of your time - but not quite. 

In order to truly create a healthy lifestyle for yourself, you have to create healthy habits that are both realistic and sustainable over time. 

You may not be able to workout for an hour every day, but what can you do? Can you workout for 30 minutes every other day? Whatever it is, find what you enjoy and what works for you and get started! 

Healthy changes become healthy habits which turn into a healthy lifestyle. Healthy lifestyles are realistic and made to accommodate a normal, fast-paced (or slow), changing life. Slow and steady wins the race in this case.

And to make a healthy lifestyle less overwhelming, I have a free checklist for you!

Realistic?

Crash Dieting

I don't think crash dieting and realistic belong in the same sentence. I mean honestly - we're talking about CRASH dieting. You know what I think of when I hear crash dieting? Crashing  and BURNING! When you voluntarily decide to crash diet, I think you're setting yourself up to crash and burn. Nobody in their right mind creates a realistic (or sane) lifestyle by crashing and burning over and over again. 

The whole idea behind crash dieting is to do something that would normally be totally unrealistic - like only drinking lemon water, and going balls to the wall for some short period of time - then seeing how much weight you can trick your body into losing for again a SHORT period of time. 

And then for some reason, after you've lost weight in a week because you've virtually starved yourself, you think that sense of accomplishment is going to hang around even when you go back to eating again. 

Did you learn anything from your diet? Is there something you can implement long term? If so, why wasn't it part of your diet? Approaching healthy eating and exercising with a long term perspective will the most effective way to make healthy realistic. But that doesn't come from diets.

So no. Taking something unrealistic and trying to implement it long term is not realistic. By definition alone, it just doesn't work that way.

Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle on the other hand is absolutely realistic. Why? Because it changes with you.

Do you eat tuna every day for lunch because it's quick and easy and then get sick of it one day? That's totally fine. Stop eating it. Find something else. 

What about exercise? If you HATE running (you caught me), then don't run. I love working out in the gym. But if you don't like gyms because you just prefer to exercise outside or you don't want to waste time driving to and from the gym -- then don't workout in a gym! 

There are so many ways you can exercise and there are tons of healthy foods! 

A healthy lifestyle is all about finding the exercise that works for you. What do you enjoy? How much time do you have? What experience do you have? What kind of feeling do you want during and after the exercise? You find what you enjoy and what makes you feel that sense of accomplishment and that's what you go for. That's what makes this lifestyle realistic. 

The same goes for healthy eating. If you don't like salad (me again), don't eat salad! If you love salad - eat your heart out! If you don't like using the microwave, don't meal prep something that you have to warm up. AND, find a way to use your left-overs without warming them up. If you like chicken, eat chicken. If you like fish, eat fish. 

Go ahead and experiment. Do a quick search on Pinterest for healthy meals and I guarantee you'll find at least one meal that looks appealing. Healthy can absolutely be delicious. You can find meals you can prep and cook quickly. 

The ability to cater your healthy choices toward your personality makes a healthy lifestyle realistic. 

Taste-bud friendly

Crash Dieting

Raise your hand if you associate diets with anything delicious.

Nobody? Come on...

What about anything that just tastes good?

Tastes alright? 

So often diets are more about starving yourself or creating individual nutrient deficits than they are about doing anything healthy for your body. 

I feel like this one doesn't take a lot of convincing. You already know I'm not a big salad fan - I have to really be in the mood for salad before I eat salad. Diets are usually full of salads, cutting out foods you love, and trying weird solutions that may or may not work. 

Most diets are centered around losing weight, not being healthy. In the long run, healthy choices will be better for you and usually help you lose weight. Instead of first trying to lose weight, why don't you first try being healthy? 

Healthy Lifestyle

Diets give healthy a bad name. Lose weight in 10 days - eat cardboard! No thanks. Unreal and unnecessary. 

Let me make one thing clear: you can absolutely eat healthy, delicious food!

Period.

If you don't believe me, browse my Pinterest boards. Do I have desserts on there? Absolutely. I don't recommend eating desserts every single day, but I do believe you need balance. You can eat a steak with well seasoned veggies and a sweet potato and it could be one of your healthiest meals.  

Experiment with different foods and recipes. Find what you like and what you don't like.

Habits

Crash Dieting

Diets are little bit insane. They usually do just about everything opposite of a good habit. They're inconsistent, don't produce results, give you tons of highs and lows and essentially make you go back over and over again to try a new solution. 

The only real habit diets create is that of insanity and chaos. They somehow have this magical spell that makes people think they're going to work wonders. But then they fail over and over and over again. And somehow people keep going back. 

Healthy Lifestyle

Habits are what makes a healthy lifestyle effortless, enjoyable and realistic. 

Don't let me fool you. Habits themselves are not effortless and enjoyable to create. They require a lot of time, effort and sometimes frustration up-front.

Often creating healthy habits means making changes. Let's be honest, most of us don't like change. However, I'm here to tell you as someone who has personally made these changes that every single healthy change I've made has been worth it. 

I've learned what foods I like and what I don't like. I've learned what's practical for my lifestyle and I've learned when and how I can make exceptions and keep my desserts as exceptions. I've also learned how to make healthier choices when I'm out at restaurants.

I know what to look for because took the time to create healthy habits. 

And now? 

Now healthy is fairly effortless. Healthy is my natural choice now. I love my lifestyle. I incorporate balance and it's totally realistic. Healthy habits work wonders.

The longer I've lived a healthy lifestyle, the worse junk food sounds. Fast food no longer looks appealing. It looks like a stomach ache. 

Tons of fried food makes me crave veggies because I know I need them. 

Put in the work up front and it will end up paying off ten fold! Healthy habits are key!

Download the healthy lifestyle checklist and get started on your healthy changes right away!

Attitude

Crash Dieting

I don't know about you, but failure puts me in a bad mood. 

Being hungry also puts me in a bad mood. 

And if someone served me cardboard on a platter and told me it was some exotic appetizer - I'd be pretty mad about that too. 

Diets sound insane when you really think about them, right? Diets often tell you to basically eat cardboard and starve yourself in order to see results -- and then results don't even come. And if they do, they're not lasting results. 

No wonder people on diets are usually in a bad mood. 

Have you ever tried a failed diet? Did it put you in a bad mood? Did you get your hopes up and then have all your dreams trampled right in front of you? 

If you're stuck on dieting, then you're stuck in that nasty cycle of failure failure, frustration and hopelessness. 

Want to get rid of all those negative feelings about your body? Stop dieting.

Healthy Lifestyle

When you effortlessly make smart, healthy choices, it's so much easier to be happy. You'll be less stressed when you don't have to think about every calorie or deprive yourself of every dessert. 

Our habits tend to feed off of each other. For me, if I exercise, I'm more likely to eat healthy, which makes me less likely to eat junk food. I also am more likely to know what sounds good faster, which gives me less frustration and more time. When I kick my morning off with a great workout, I also want to carry that feeling of accomplishment with me throughout the day. I find it easier to get right to work and ignore distractions. And when I do that, I find that I don't need extra hours in the day. Not only that, but I end up getting tired earlier, which makes it so much easier for me to wake up early the next day. 

When I'm making healthy choices and letting my healthy habits do the hard work for me, I am so much happier! I feel more productive and it seems as though I have more hours in the day. I'm more patient, less stressed and am better equipped to deal with unknown changes throughout the day. 

My healthy lifestyle also lets me feel success every single day. I'm confident, I eat great food and I'm happy overall. No cardboard, no starving, and a better mood overall.

Any way you look at it, a healthy lifestyle is definitely the key! Don't fall for diets of any kind. Take back control. Be sure to download the free healthy lifestyle checklist so you can get started right away.