This is true for all of the diets out there. Keto, Paleo, Whole30, you name it. They all follow this cycle. And this cycle is what leads to feeling like a failure when you regain the weight back after a few weeks. Which, by the way, is NOT your fault! It is the diet’s fault because they are so restrictive they are not going to give you the long term weight loss you are looking for. Let’s take a close look together at the diet cycle and break it down.
Stages of the Dieting Cycle
Start Diet – You feel like you can do it this time. That you can stick with it, that it’s the healthy choice to lose weight, that it will help you. You pick whichever diet you found to be the most convincing to achieve your weight loss goal and you start to follow it.
Restriction – As you follow your diet you start to restrict which foods you think you can’t eat. Keto followers restrict carbohydrates. Whole30 followers restrict legumes and dairy. Each diet has their own list of “do not eat” foods because they want you to believe these foods are responsible for your weight gain and will inhibit your weight loss (remember, that’s blatantly wrong).
Deprivation – Now you are depriving yourself of foods that you want. That chocolate bar? On the no-no list. Those black beans? On the no-no list. You stick with your “good foods” list and avoid those “bad foods” depriving yourself joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction in your food.
Cravings – Every dieter knows this feeling well. You avoid those no-no foods for so long that you begin to crave them all the time. And nothing on the “good foods” list satisfies this craving. The only thing that will is the item you are craving for so badly.
Give in – It was only a matter of time. You have given into your craving, and find yourself eating a lot of it. Because you deprived yourself of this craving for so long it feels like you need to eat more in order to satisfy yourself. This thinking is true; the deprivation did lead to an increased intake of the craved food instead of eating it when you first desired to eat it.
Guilt – Now you feel like you need to start all over, that your hard work of following the diet rules has been thrown out the window, that you feel after control once you gave into your craving. The guilt is consuming, telling you that it’s your fault the diet failed again. You beat yourself up for letting it end like this.