Taking care of yourself and cultivating a healthy body image can be hard work.
Whatever healthy eating looks like for you — whether it’s reducing red meat, counting calories, cooking from scratch, or eating more antioxidants — it can take a lot of commitment and planning. And whatever exercise you choose — yoga, cycling, walking, jogging, pickleball, or something else — that takes time, discipline, and grit!
So, what happens if you do all that work but don’t see the results you expect?
The Dangers of Diet Fads & Workout Trends
When you’re not seeing results, or when considering a new program, the first thing to think about is whether the diet or workout you’re relying on is evidence-based or whether it’s simply a fad. There are countless “wellness” trends that don’t yet have proven results, or may even go against medical advice. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it works.
Here are some questions to consider about your choice of diet or workout:
- Does this program claim to be a “silver bullet” to health or fitness? (Spoiler: there’s no such thing!)
- What do medical professionals (not paid to promote it) say about this form of exercise or this diet?
- What do nutritionists (not paid to promote it) say about this way of eating?
- Is there proof that this diet or exercise can deliver results?
- Are the positive results long-term or only short-term? (Many weight-loss programs only produce short-term results.)
- Are there negative effects of the program to consider?
- Is this a sustainable way of eating or exercising for you?
It’s okay if you don’t have time to dive deeply into research. Using questions like these, even a small amount of investigation should help you weed out programs that are simply fads.
Setting Your Expectations
If you’re using an evidence-based approach and you still find yourself saying, “Why am I not seeing the transformation I want?!” after all the effort you’ve invested, you’re not alone. Don’t give up! Eating well and exercising are worthy lifelong goals, but the key is to set your expectations.
Sure, you can switch to a different regimen, but more importantly, you need to know what diet and exercise can do and what they can’t do and adjust your expectations accordingly.
What Diet & Exercise CAN’T Do
Sometimes, we expect diet and exercise to help us transform our bodies in ways that may not be feasible. And of course, our misconceptions can lead to disappointment after working hard to achieve our goals.
So, let’s get clear on what diet and exercise can’t do. They cannot:
- Remove excess skin
- Tighten sagging or drooping skin
- Smooth wrinkles
- Reverse many of the visible effects of aging
Understanding these limitations doesn’t mean we stop eating well or stop exercising — but it does help avoid setting impossible expectations about our results.
What Diet & Exercise CAN Do
Fortunately, consistent healthy eating and regular exercise still have many amazing, proven benefits, such as:
- Weight loss
- Fat reduction
- Improved digestion
- Improved heart health
- Increased muscle/strength
- Improved joint health
- Reduced joint pain
- Higher energy levels
- Elevated mood
The list could go on. Even though you might need to adjust your expectations, take heart – your hard work is not wasted!
How Can The Lucas Center Help?
If you’re looking for the type of transformation that diet and exercise alone cannot provide (removing excess or sagging skin, for example), now is a great time to explore your plastic surgery options. Here at The Lucas Center, we’re committed to providing customized, personal care that meets your needs and achieves your desired results. Check out our surgical services and if you’re ready to take the next step, you can book a personalized consultation with Dr. Lucas to discuss how we can help. We’d be honored to help you on your journey to health, well-being, and true, lasting confidence!