There’s a lot in the news these days about scientific research proving that diets don't work for permanent weight loss. This research confirms what I’ve known for a while because I’ve failed at enough of them myself! Once I stopped dieting, I lost weight and keep it off!
According to the research, approximately 97% of people who try dieting won’t lose weight or will gain it all back within 2 years.
So how are the companies that make up the multi-billion dollar diet industry responding? They have a new tactic.
They’re claiming that their diet isn’t a diet. They market it as “a lifestyle change.” Seriously?
Well, what is a diet anyway? In my opinion, a diet is any food plan that meets any of these requirements:
1. It is difficult or impossible to stick with while living your normal life, especially when you go on vacation, to parties or during the holidays.
For example, if you are on an eating plan that requires you to either fast completely or eat very few calories (like under 1400 per day), even only one day a week, it’s a diet. If you have to go off or "cheat" on your plan when you’re a) traveling, especially at a resort or cruise where meals are included, b) training to run a 5K, or c) just exercising every day, it’s a diet.
2. You’re required to either never eat certain foods or to only eat certain foods.
If you must cut out sugar, flour, carbs, or any other specific foods, it’s a diet. If you must eat 100 grams of protein a day, it’s a diet.
3. It is something you “go on” to lose weight, then “go off” when you reach your desired weight or quit, whichever comes first.
In other words, if you are temporarily restricting what or how much you eat to lose weight, you’re on a diet.
4. Any food plan requiring you to replace normal meals with fake fortified food like shakes, mixes, bars, or pre-packaged food prepared by a commercial company to be eaten in exact quantities.
Do you have to bring your own dinner to a friend’s house or to a party because you can’t (as opposed to prefer not to) eat what is served? Diet.
5. It requires you to count calories, carbs or points.
6. There are “cheat days” or there’s a possibility of “cheating” on it.
If you have to restrict certain foods for medical reasons, like if you have Celiac disease and get seriously ill if you consume gluten, that is a different matter. That’s what you do all the time, right? So it really is a lifestyle change and not a diet.
But many of us have been fed the diet mentality for so many years that we don’t even recognize a diet when we see one. That’s not your fault. The diet industry spends billions of dollars every year trying to convince you that your body is not okay, and that the way to fix yourself is with their diet.
So what’s wrong with diets? Aside from their extremely high failure rate?
1. Diets have no relationship to your body's needs. We each have different needs, and diets tend to be one-size-fits-all. The diet industry wants you to believe your body can't be trusted to tell you what it needs. Maybe you think that, too, after years of diets and deprivation, but it's not true.
2. Diets require considerable deprivation, and therefore are not sustainable for more than a temporary period of time. Remember Eve in the Garden of Eden? It is human nature to want what we can't have. That's why most people can't stay on a diet very long, and quit before they reach their goal.
3. Diets require willpower, which is also not sustainable. We run out of it as the day goes on. Notice how it is easier to stick to a diet until, say, mid-afternoon?
4. When you go off the diet, you still have many, if not all, of the same habits you had that made you overweight in the first place. Thus, the weight comes back quickly after you revert to your old ways of eating.
So what should you do if you want to lose weight?
Are you ready to really lose the weight and keep it off once and for all, without going on a diet? Work with me and you’ll learn how to address why you are overweight in the first place, and how to break bad food habits and develop healthy new ones so you can live and eat like a naturally thin person who doesn’t need to go on diets to stay slim. Sound fantastic? Learn more HERE.
I certainly realize as a I get older, certain foods are not my friends!
This is such a great blog! Those crazy diets or cleanses never achieve long lasting weight loss. In fact, often you gain all the weight back and more! I found a sensible, healthy lifestyle works best for me.
Thanks! Yes, it’s remarkable how long it took me to figure that out! I’ve also tried a few cleanses and never felt any different. I’m now convinced healthy people don’t need that.
As someone who finally stopped dieting, I agree wholeheartedly! Such freedom! And I am losing weight and getting my blood sugar and insulin under control.