2: Intro to Fad Diets

Section 2: Introduction to Dieting in General
There are a million books on the topic so I’m not going to get too deep here. Simply put, you lose weight by burning more calories than you take in. This is a law of physics. If you burned more calories than you took in and didn’t lose weight, it would be supernatural.

Despite what the many proponents of certain fad diets want you to believe, nobody has a patent on weight loss. You can lose weight on the Atkins, Caveman, Raw Food, South Beach, Hollywood, Juice Master, Protein Power diets and more. But proponents of each any specific diet will have you believe otherwise. Don’t get caught up in the same fanaticism they use to market and promote their dietary regime. If you look at any of these diets, they nearly all use the catch phrase “Lose weight eating the foods your body was designed for.” And what they all do have in common is the belief their diet is not only the best but that the others are dangerous, which simply is not true.

If you get caught up in this type of thinking you will turn into that one asshole at the dinner party. We will be focusing on the Caveman diet here, but I just wanted to throw this out so you don’t get tripped up by thinking the Caveman or Paleo diet is the best and only diet. Lead by example and let others come to you based on your accomplishments, you don’t need to preach.

But everyone is on a million different diets and nobody is losing weight!
There are just as many reasons why people don’t lose weight while “dieting” as there are failed dieters. Probably the biggest pitfall is not being consistent–they eat healthy in the morning but not in the evening. They eat healthy for two days and then skip a day. (You need to eat healthy for six days in a row.) They eat healthy for six days and then skip a week. (Aside from one free day, you need to eat healthy until you reach your goal weight.) They switch diets mid game as they start to second guess the first diet. They don’t calculate the little “snacks” they take in, the little bites of “cheat food.” They give up too soon, blaming myths like a “slow metabolism” or become frustrated by the immovable needle on the scale. They give up after not getting instant results. They use the wrong tools and benchmarks to measure progress, or no tools.  They gain weight and become frustrated but fail to realize it could just be their body retaining water or even muscle gain (Muscle weighs more than fat.) They give into peer pressure, veer off course by birthdays or a football game, they celebrate the loss of a pound with a pitcher of beer, or they don’t exercise correctly or enough or at all. They over-restrict their calories to the point of starvation, so the body instead retains weight and they become emotionally vulnerable to quitting. To sum all of the above up, they just don’t understand enough about dieting. I’ve done everyone of these things, and so have my friends and relatives, and probably nearly anyone who has dieted.

Dieting and losing weight is difficult. Baby steps. Take it hour-by-hour. Don’t expect results sooner than two weeks. It’s just as much a mental challenge as physical. Restricting ourselves with treats and our fave foods we’ve grown accustomed to over years and even decades can bring full-grown adults to tears and can cause tantrums. We are emotionally vulnerable and susceptible to self-serving rationalization while dieting, probably the worst state of mind to be in when you are faced with the challenge of weight loss.

Set goals for yourself and use proper methods to measure your progress. Seeing real progress and attaining goals inspires you to continue. You can measure your progress by using the scale, a measuring tape, body fat calipers, or have your body fat percentage measured at your gym or health care provider. Out of all of these methods, the scale is the most unreliable. Be aware that you might gain muscle while losing fat, or retained water, so it does not give you a true picture always like the tape or body fat measurement would.

But having said all of this, you can and will lose weight easily if you don’t fall into one of the myriad traps listed above. And if you do fall, brush yourself off and move forward. If you want more detailed information on the act of dieting than I have presented here, I recommend the Bill Phillip’s book Body for Life. It does not follow the Caveman diet, but his explanation of the act of dieting and exercise is spot on.

Section 1: Introduction to the Caveman Diet
Section 2: Introduction to Dieting in General
Section 3: Introduction to Weight Loss
Section 4: The Caveman Diet to Lose Weight
Section 5: Menu planning
Section 6: Exercise