Middle aged woman sitting front of computer

Summary. For those who are fed up with leading a “fadstyle” when it comes to being healthy (and losing those extra pounds) and are ready get away from shortcuts, hacks and formulas there is a different way. However, it’s not for everyone.

“How can I have a holistic vs trendy (or fad) way of losing weight and being healthy?”

I keep getting versions of this question from members in my community and I will share my take on why fad diets rarely work and what to do instead.

If you’re also living the groundhog experience of one fad diet after the next and can attest to the toll it takes on your body and your self-esteem, this one’s for you.

What To Expect During Life's Long Middle - Body, Mind & Life Checklist for Women 40-79

Hope is a human virtue

One of my clients described herself as a positive person who does not give up on herself. Hope is what kept her going and hoping that the next fad diet would be The One.

When we started working together I challenged her belief that weight loss would automatically lead to health (and happiness).

I am not saying that it’s not a good idea to lose weight if that’s a goal, far from it. We know that carrying extra weight is associated with many health conditions from cardiovascular disease, to type 2 diabetes, to extra load on joints possibly limiting mobility.

What I am saying is that only looking at the number on the scale and declaring win or fail, is way too shallow and does not serve the goal of building health long term.

It may even do more harm than good. When going all-in on this or that fad diet for 7, 14 or however-many-days until the promised result, will jerk your metabolism around and can lead to weight loss resistance over time.

Not to mention the number it does on your self-esteem and the often negative self-talk that follows. “I have no willpower, I am weak, no good…” and so on.

We end up believing that being healthy is hard. Full of sacrifice that requires willpower, drinking hold-your-nose-yucky-smoothies, long shopping lists and complicated recipes…

The “fadstyle” to losing weight and building health makes us believe that we’re failing as human beings. We’re not. What is failing is this jerky fad approach towards long term health.

Is it all bad?

So, should we throw it all away?

It depends. Fortunately we are now decades away from the low-fat/high-carb craze of the 1980’s that in my opinion did damage by depriving the dieters of vitamins, minerals and sufficient protein. While also setting the stage for an endless cycle of carb cravings and the epidemic of type 2 diabetes we see today.

However, many of today’s fads have good science at its core. Yes to more veggies, healthy fats, lean proteins and less processed foods.

What makes the diets of recent years unsustainable is that they go to the extremes. They tend to be one-size-fits-all with the same formula for men, women, young, old, active, sedentary and so on.

The Keto Diet that has been all the rage is now on the decline since it’s not sustainable for most due to the low-carb content allowed. There are also concerns that it’s not healthy for heart and gut due to high intake of saturated fats and low fibre. This doesn’t mean that spending some time is ketosis is a bad thing, the Keto Diet just took it too far.

Dumb-downed formulas

Fad diets also tend to be dumbed down and formulaic. Do X for Y number of days and get Z as a result.

We live in a culture where convenience and shortcuts has become a value and we lap up paint-by-number solutions as we follow a formula that worked for someone else.

The thing is, when we follow a formula we don’t have the opportunity to figure out what works for us as individuals. We don’t get the space to tweak and learn along the way so we can find a way that’s sustainable.

So how do you know if the approach you’re following is too formulaic? You’re relying too heavily on willpower and are white-knuckling your way through the program.

Another big tell is if you rebound once it’s over… returning to old habits, gaining back any lost weight and possibly more leading to a sense of failure and more negative self-talk.

Are you ready to go on a journey?

In my own experience and for the clients I support, to find a lifestyle that builds health long term we must be prepared to evolve as human beings.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to begin the process.

Am I willing to stop and tune in for a moment to get clear on the goals I have for my health and my life, beyond short term weight loss goals? Our health and life goals are closely intertwined, this is especially true as we move through the decades of life’s long middle.

Continue asking yourself…

Where have I been?

Where am I know?

Adopting a new lifestyle that supports our goals is like going on a journey. So ask yourself if you’re willing to go on a journey. Just like when we leave home and travel we leave the familiar behind and the more open minded and ready for adventure we are the better the outcome tend to be.

Same is true when you set out on these travels towards the lifestyle that will support your health and life goals. For the rest of your life.

So you can reach your destination it’s important that you pace yourself. When you do, you may realize that the journey you thought would be uncomfortable is actually pleasant, energizing and full of new discoveries (about yourself).

Maybe you like the new destination so much you end up moving there. That’s how you go from “fadstyle” to lifestyle to meet your health goals.

Green Fern Leaf

For those who are fed up with leading a “fadstyle” when it comes to being healthy (and losing those extra pounds) and are ready get away from shortcuts, hacks and formulas there is a different way. However, it’s not for everyone.

But for those who are willing to evolve into the version of themselves where there is alignment between their health and life goals and how they live their lives (read: how they make the seemingly un-important daily choices) there is another way waiting to be explored.

If you’re ready to start your journey towards building health in a new way the first step is to figure out where you are now and where you’re headed by default by completing the “What To Expect During Life’s Long Middle – Body, Mind & Life Checklist for Women 40-79″.

What To Expect During Life's Long Middle - Body, Mind & Life Checklist for Women 40-79

Annika Ek R.H.N. is an Evolutionary Nutritionist who helps women during life’s long middle establish self-care that’s both gentle and powerful so new healthy habits are transformed into a lifestyle that supports their health and life goals.

Annika is the founder of TrulyU Evolutionary Nutrition and the creator of Evolutionary Nutrition™ and The TrulyU Way™.

To find out how you can work with Annika schedule a complimentary call here.

What To Expect During Life's Long Middle - Body, Mind & Life Checklist for Women 40-79

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