Carville: Resolutions: Why that new diet might not work |

Carville: Resolutions: Why that new diet might not work

Photo for The Union by John Hart
John Hart | The Union

Are you tired of the diet hype and false claims of easy weight loss? How about the 21-day weight loss challenges, the low-carb diets, the low fat-diets, the special food diets?

The simple truth is diets don’t work. That’s because knowing what to eat and what not to eat is not the problem. In other words, it’s not a “what to do” problem, it is a “how to do” problem.

You see, I can tell you what to do and what not to do to be healthy and lose weight. But that’s not really the issue.

For the most part, you already know what to do – eat less food, eat healthier food and move more. The key to making this happen is not another whacky diet or 21-day challenge but rather learning to develop and then practice the skills necessary to make the changes you want to make.

First things first

Did you learn to run before you walked? Did you learn to walk before you crawled? You can’t expect to lose 30 pounds before you are good at all the things you must learn how to do in order to lose 30 pounds.

You have to practice and get good at all the basic skills that support the change you want to make. If you want to lose 30 pounds then focusing on the 30 pounds is not the place to start.

For example, it does not do any good to eat less food until you have learned to eat healthy food. So learning to eat healthy food becomes the initial goal (skill to be practiced) before focusing on eating less food.

To help you get started, here are five basic skills that we recommend at South Yuba Club before focusing on actual weight loss.

Practice skill one until you can do it consistently for two weeks. Then move to the next skill and practice. Repeat the process until you have mastered all five skills.

1. Drink eight glasses of water per day. Why: Easy to do and reinforces structure and success related to eating.

If you can’t do this one then there is no way you are ready for the harder stuff below. Helps to minimize cravings.

2. One serving of fruit and vegetable with each meal. Why: Introduces healthy whole foods into diet and displaces calories/improves satiety.

3. No soda or juice. No more than one drink of alcohol per day. Why: First step in reducing sugar and empty calories in diet. Helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.

4. No foods with refined grains, added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, saturated fat, hydrogenated fat in first five ingredients. Why: Significantly reduces calories and food additives that harm health and weight loss efforts. Optimizes hormonal regulation.

5. Eat only whole foods. No processed food from boxes or cans. Why: The basis of a healthy diet. If you master these five skill sets then counting calories becomes almost unnecessary to achieve a healthy body weight over time.

Track your progress daily in a little notebook. Write down your plan for the day and what you actually did.

Once you’ve completed a skill consistently for two weeks then move to the next skill. It will take at least 10-12 weeks to master all of the skills above.

But don’t worry about how long it takes because the skills you are developing are designed to last a lifetime.

Once you’ve mastered all five skills then it’s time to step on scale and focus on weight loss.

The beauty is when you do these five skills you will already have the skills necessary to successfully lose weight and improve your health.

If you have questions or need help developing strategies to master the skills above then please feel free to e-mail me at I hope 2013 is your best year ever.

Mike Carville is a NASM/RKC certified Fitness Coach and co-owner of South Yuba Club in Nevada City and Grass Valley ( If you have exercise or weight loss questions or would like to book mike as a speaker at you next event then please contact him at:

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