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Why Achieving Weight Loss Through Dieting Is a Recipe For Disaster

05/12/2015 01:48 pm ET | Updated May 12, 2016

There is no doubt that the weight loss industry is a booming trade. It is rather like a lottery. For every successful weight loss "success story" there are many more that failed.

Similar to a lottery draw; not everyone can win the elusive jackpot yet millions will buy a ticket each week without any monetary gains and return the following week for another stab at the jackpot.

Just as people keep buying lottery tickets, so do people go from one diet to another looking for that "Secret Weapon" that will make them shed unwanted weight and keep it off.

Here are my five reasons why diets do not work and what you should be doing instead.

1. Diet plans that are too restrictive are a sure recipe for disaster.

If you are following a specific plan that does not allow you to make your own choices, this will create stress and confusion when you have to make a choice.

What you need to gain from a diet plan is knowing what to do when you find yourself at a party or a restaurant. Being knowledgeable in making correct food choices are paramount. You need to understand why you should to be eating XYZ instead of ABC.

2. Diet vs. way of life.

The way you perceive your approach to eating is important. The word diet immediately conjures up a notion of being denied food you love. If you are eating a green salad but deep down wishing you were eating a cheeseburger then you will fail in your efforts to lose weight.

You need to stop with the notion that you are missing out on anything. If all you can think about is cheeseburgers, then stop wasting your money on endless diet programs and just keep eating the cheeseburgers. You may not lose weight, but you will certainly save money.

3. Falling off the wagon.

I hear this often:

Fell off the wagon in the last three weeks after my son's 21st birthday party. I am trying not to beat myself up about it and get back on track.

If it is a wagon ride you are on then you are bound to fall off at the first bump.

So what if you had a chocolate bar or a cheeseburger?

Life is to be enjoyed and if you are constrained by a rigid diet plan then you will be falling off the wagon many times.

Make your journey an easy one allowing for rest stops along the way. A little sweetness in life is to be enjoyed and not something to beat yourself up about.

4. Emotional Eating

Diet plans rarely address the connection between your emotions and what you eat.

If you find yourself dipping into the crunchy peanut butter jar for comfort when feeling stressed and then hating yourself for it afterwards then you are on a very rocky road.

Finding a program that addresses the mind and how your emotions influence your food choices would be most beneficial if this is something you can relate to.

5. One plan is NOT for ALL.

Just because a certain approach worked for your next-door neighbour, does not mean the plan will work for you.

Personally I love hot soups and roasted vegetables so a raw food plan will not be appealing for me.

If I feel like a hearty casserole I will Google various recipes until I find the one with ingredients that I know I will have in the cupboard and will enjoy.

During a recent search for casseroles, I found one that asked for chicken livers. Memories of being forced to eat liver down as a child still continue to haunt me and therefore no amount of persuasion was going to get me to race off to the shops to pick up some livers no matter what the benefits of the recipe touted!

It is not a diet you are looking for, but a lifestyle change. There are many opportunities for you to make the first step. Online programs, local weight loss clubs, eBooks are all there ready and waiting.

My advice is to pick what resonates with you, fits into your lifestyle and makes you feel comfortable. There may be a little bit of pain and resistance initially in any lifestyle change you make. If you are used to eating take-away on a regular basis home cooked meals may leave you frazzled but slowly and surely incorporating small changes and baby steps each day will have you on the right path,

Julie Dargan works with busy women find balance in their lives, particularly menopausal women. Julie offers a FREE program to help you discover tasty, delicious ways to lose weight and feel great. For more information you can visit www.menopausewhisperer.com