When The Diet Stops Working

How's diet going edited

I don’t really diet. Dieting to me feels temporary. Instead, I looked at my weight loss journey as a lifestyle change. And it was–a complete change. The way I was living wasn’t working anymore. My body was rebelling. It was developing diabetes, my blood pressure was so high I’d have dizzy spells and almost blacked out too many times to count. In other ways my body was letting me know that extra 100 pounds on my body was hurting me. Achy joints, back pain, constantly catching every cold/bronchitis/flu that was going around. I wasn’t healthy, period.

If you are new to the blog, check out these two posts I wrote about weight loss plateaus and cheat days: Why Wednesday – Why I’m Not Losing and Why Wednesday – Why I Don’t Have a Cheat Day.

While I didn’t diet to lose 100 pounds, I have tried a few different diets over the years. After maintaining my weight for awhile, I wanted to try something new.

The first “diet” I tried was the Slow-Carb Diet.

The Slow-Carb diet didn’t work for me for a lot of reasons. The biggest challenge was not being able to eat fruit. Fruit is healthy. Eliminating it entirely from my body seemed unhealthy. Also, I didn’t really see any benefits of this diet. While Michael lost a good amount of weight doing this diet, I did not. Clearly my body didn’t like it! Here are some of the posts from that experience:

The Four Hour Body Diet Experiment

Four Hour Body Diet – The Beginning

Slow Carb Food List

My Thoughts on The Four Hour Body Week

Challenges of Day Three

Day Four: Half Way There

Saturday: Binge Day Part One

There are things about the Slow Carb Diet that I agree with. I think it’s beneficial to limit bread and pasta and stuff like that. Those things seem to make my body want to gain weight. I LOVE bread. Love it. I crave it. But if I stop eating it, those cravings go away and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. However, the second I eat some bread after not eating it for awhile, it’s like crack. It becomes the #1 thing I want to eat and I get kind of obsessed. Yikes!

The second “diet” was going gluten and dairy-free.

The reasoning behind this diet actually came from my mom. She was having some different issues and going dairy and gluten free helped resolve those issues. In my reading I found that the diet cleared up acne for many people, as well as sinus issues. It was worth a try and the fact that my mom was successful on this diet (and lost a lot of weight) gave me hope. Once again, I didn’t see any significant change or improvement. The sinus issues didn’t go away. I lost about an inch around my waist–which IS significant but I didn’t lose any weight. It didn’t fix my acne, either.


So it Begins

Dairy-Free Update #1

Dairy-Free Update #2

Dairy-Free Update #3

In the end the diet seemed more of a struggle than anything and since I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, I stopped it. One thing that stuck around is trying to limit the gluten and bread I eat. We found some gluten-free bread at Costco that is actually REALLY tasty and that’s what we buy now.


When The Diet Stops Working

This post is about the moment when the diet stops working. If you’re just hitting a plateau, you need to do something to shake your body out of it’s habit. Check out these posts: P is for PlateausBusting that Plateau and Why Can’t I Lose Weight? They will give you some good ideas on how to bust that plateau and get back to losing.

If it’s NOT a plateau and you just simply aren’t losing weight, then CHANGE IT. There is absolutely no benefit or reason to continue something that doesn’t work. The Slow-Carb diet didn’t work for me, either did the dairy/gluten-free diet. If the diet itself is more of a struggle and misery and you aren’t getting results, TRY SOMETHING ELSE. There is no shame in quitting and trying again. Everyone is different and what works for one person, may not work for you.

To give you another example, I have a friend who has been trying to lose weight and fix her diabetes for a long time. After trying so many different things, high protein diet, dairy-free diet, counting calories, going vegetarian…what ended up working for HER body was going vegan.

Find what works for YOUR body and stick with it!


The Swing! — CLOSED

Recently I was asked to read and review a new fitness book coming out this month. I jumped at the change because the topic was something I was highly interested in: weight loss and kettlebells.

The book is called “The Swing! Lose the Fat and Get Fit with this Revolutionary Kettlebell Program” by Tracy Reifkind. The name might sound familiar to you if you read the book “The Four Hour Body” because she was one of the case studies in that book. Check out Tracy’s Facebook Page for more information.

I’m not new to the kettlebell world. My boyfriend Michael has been talking about the workout for years due to it’s popularity in Mixed Martial Arts, and I’ve done a kettlebell workout at my old trainer’s crossfit gym. I loved the workout and have been anxious to do it again. My trepidation? I was worried about doing it on my own and having bad form. This book detailed many workouts and also went over proper form complete with pictures.

“Not only does the motion of the kettlebell swing feel right, it also provides the most intense calorie burn without requiring a significant time investment. [pg 11]”

Tracy’s story is similar to mine, which I could obviously relate to. She was in her forties and had been 250 pounds for most of her adult life. She had a wake-up call that told her it was finally time to lose the weight, and she did.

“Being a formerly fat person, I know what it feels like to see your body as an other; some part of you from which you’ve disconnected. When you are disconnected from your body, your thoughts and perceptions of your body don’t match reality. [pg 19]”

I think no matter how much weight you want to lose–10 pounds or 100– you can find value in this book.

What I didn’t agree with in the book was her statement that gyms were a waste of time and that you won’t lose weight working out at a gym. I beg to differ. As someone who DID lose over 100 pounds by swimming and working out in a gym, I think gyms can be beneficial. The good thing about gyms is that there is variety. Too often people get bored with working out and then give up. There are so many different classes and machines at the gym that it would be impossible to be bored. But to be fair, not everyone likes the gym environment. My boyfriend, for example, hates gyms and works out at home (including a kettlebell workout).

“There are millions of very frustrated people out there who spend hours working out but don’t change their diet and then wonder why their weight doesn’t budge–don’t be one of them. [pg 15]”

Yes! I’ve said it many times. The weight loss equation is diet and exercise. They go hand-in-hand with losing weight and keeping it off. Ignoring one part of the equation will slow the process down and the results will be disappointing.

“A big mistake many people make is that when they start a diet and exercise program, they fail to see it as a permanent lifestyle change. [pg 33]”

I’m really glad she addressed this fact because it’s all too common when people try to lose weight. They often think it’s a temporary thing, it’s a diet, that they can restrict calories and exercise for awhile to lose and then go back to their bad habits. That’s how we “yo-yo” diet and it’s not lasting results, nor healthy.

There were two things that turned me off in the book: the first was that she wrote as if everything was fact, but it was lacking in annotations citing sources (which I like to see) and the frequent use of words like “rapid weight loss” felt gimmicky when it’s not; I felt like that diminished the amazing benefits of the kettlebell workouts.

What is great about kettlebell workouts is that is both cardio and strength training in one. What an amazing way to get aerobic and anaerobic fitness in one session! Reifkind also stated that kettlebells were how she managed to lose 120 pounds and avoid sagging skin [pg 64].

“If you have knee issues and can’t squat, you can still swing safely and easily, and strengthen the knees and legs at the same time. Swings are perhaps the most knee-friendly, full-body exercise a person can do at any age. [pg112]”

Except for swimming, of course! To each its own. I do a lot of different workouts because I like them. I swim, I bike, I run, I hike, I walk, I lift weights. I think there is value in doing all of them.

The book spends a decent amount of time on listing a bunch of different workouts to do with the kettlebells, as well as addressing the food part. I will let the readers draw their own conclusions on her food plans.

The book is valuable for kettlebell newbies and I’m looking forward to starting the workouts from the book.

Now for some good news for one reader! I am allowed to pick one of my readers to receive a copy of this book. To enter the giveaway, please do one of the follow (or all three of them):

1. Leave a comment here telling me your experience with kettlebells.

2. Become a member of my Facebook page and leave a comment here telling me you did. 

3. Tweet this: “I want to win a copy of the book The Swing! from @lisaeirene at http://wp.me/p116Lc-7WW” and leave a comment here telling me you did.

I will pick one person to receive a copy of the book this Sunday, April 22nd. You must have a mailing address in the United States or Canada. Thanks!

QUESTION: Have you done kettlebell workouts? What did you think?