Do you have your 2014 New Year’s Resolution figured out yet? Are you going start ANOTHER diet with the hope to lose weight, lose fat, and get in shape?

How many years now have you had this as your New Year’s Resolution? How have those resolutions ended? Did you lose any weight, burn any fat, get in better shape?

Many of you may have had some early success and lost a pound or 3 in January. But by the end of February, those pounds were back, and by the end of the year, they had invited some friends to stay over!

“But this year is going to be different!”

Didn’t you say that last year? And the year before that?

What you have to understand, that your failed diets aren’t your fault. Diets Don’t Work. You know it. I know it. Science has proven it.

Check out the results from one diet studied by UCLA:

“One study of dieting obese patients followed them for varying lengths of time. Among those who were followed for fewer than two years, 23 percent gained back more weight than they had lost, while of those who were followed for at least two years, 83 percent gained back more weight than they had lost, Mann said. One study found that 50 percent of dieters weighed more than 11 pounds over their starting weight five years after the diet, she said.”

Click here to read the press release for the entire 31 diet study.

They summarized the study by saying people are better off not even bothering to diet in the first place. Check out this one quote from the article: ”one of the best predictors of weight gain over the four years was having lost weight on a diet at some point during the years before the study started,” Basically, their research found that people who diet generally gain more than people who don’t diet over a 4 year period!

A couple years back, I was in a situation similar to most 40 year men my age. I was active, lean and healthy in my university days, but then I graduated and life happened. I wasn’t playing sports as much anymore. I wasn’t going to the gym as much. I was busy with work and family…

Year after year, I gained a pound or 2 or 5. It was a slow transition and I barely noticed it (or at least refused to acknowledge it). Same with my increasing levels of lethargy and fatigue. Eventually though, enough was enough, and like so many people I tried a few different diets. I tried “watching what I eat” first. That had NO EFFECT at all.

I thought about trying Weight Watchers but there was no way I was going to look up and log my points day after day.

So I went on the Atkins Diet and LOVED it! All I ate was bacon. I was in heaven. I even lost a lot of weight fast. But I couldn’t live on a diet so high in cholesterol, so after a few weeks I went back to the “watching what we eat” diet.

I think I kept the weight off for close to 3 months, but then it all came back just as the UCLA study predicted. And true to form, a year later I was heavier than when I started.

Back then, I wasn’t doing the right research and I still believed that there wouldn’t be so many diets out there if they didn’t work. But which diet was best?

I researched the high protein diets (Atkins, South Beach, Dukan) and learned that these diets were effective in short term weight loss. But there were health risks associated with high cholesterol and a lack of micronutrient nutrition. This wasn’t a diet that you would want to stay with for very long.

Then I looked at the low calorie diets (Weight Watchers, Raw Food, HCG Diet). It depended upon how “low” the calorie count was to determine how fast the weight loss was. But with many of these diets the weight you lost was muscle based and not from fat. There were also nutrition deficiencies in some, and too much tracking and too much hunger with the others.

So I checked out some of the Lifestyle Diets (Oz Diet, Vegan Diet, DASH Diet). I liked this category best, but found the weight loss to either be too slow, or the diet too complicated to follow.

Finally there were the Meal Replacement Diets (Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Slim Fast) and found these to a) basically not work at all and b) be super expensive paying for meals that tasted like cardboard. Additionally there are questions regarding where the meal replacement ingredients are sourced and how healthy they ultimately are.

You can find the full diet explanations and comparisons in my online ebook Why Diets Fail.

Once I learned for myself that diets didn’t work, then I started researching the studies, like the UCLA one, that clearly prove that all diets ultimately fail.

That was unacceptable to me. Sure most people in North America are obese, but not everyone is. Plus there are still lean people in other countries that have access to food.

So what was the “secret”? Well it’s certainly not any of those “Weight Loss Secrets” that appear on my Facebook ads. The “secret” is actually an understanding of nutrition and how your body works. Once you truly understand your body’s requirements and how to meet them, how to cleanse the toxins from your body that have you locked in a fat producing loop, and how to take advantage of your body’s own natural hormones, you’re off to the races.

Somewhere on this website, or you can find them on my own website, you’ll see my “before and after” pictures. As the UCLA report states, it’s possible to have great “before” and “6 month after” photos. But what my wife and I have is our “before” and “2 month after” pictures, AND our “2 years later” photo.

The bottom line is, if it makes you feel better by “dieting” because you feel like you are being proactive, then go for it. But just know that you’ll just be spinning your wheels. You may lose weight, but you’ll ultimately gain it back, and the studies are saying you’ll probably gain more than you would had you not dieted at all!

So for this year’s New Year’s Resolution, if you truly want to lose weight, burn fat, improve your fitness and health, then resolve to understand your body and meet its needs. Do that and I guarantee you’ll achieve success that you never dreamed possible.

Stay tuned to my other articles for more pieces of the puzzle.

Author's Bio: 

Mike Caldwell is a retired firefighter and advanced care flight paramedic with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology and a Master's Degree in Management. Mike is the author of V.E.A.R. Toward Success, a motivational/inspirational book that using real life examples explains how to apply your Vision, Energy, Attitude and Resolve to achieve any of your goals. In 2012, Mike decided to get serious about his Ironman triathlon racing, but given his resistance to long hours of physical training, Mike turned to nutrition to facilitate his race improvement. Within 2 months both Mike and his wife Monique lost over 30 pounds of fat each. Mike has gone on to improve all his race time personal bests by an average of 20%!