Why Diets Don’t Work
As far as I am concerned, where weight loss is the issue, “diets” don’t work. So why is that?
“Diet” is actually a confusing word because it actually means “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”. For example if someone follows a vegan diet, they would not eat dairy products so remember not to serve a cheese sauce when they come round for dinner. Diets are also prescribed for medical reasons such as a gluten free diet for someone with celiac disease.
However most of us think of diet in a different context as “an eating plan where someone eats less food, or only particular types of food because they want to become thinner”.
Why am I against that kind of diet? Let me tell you…
First of all, since dieting as a weight loss programme is by definition a temporary food plan, it won’t work in the long term. 95% of people who lose weight by dieting will regain it within 5 years. Restrictive diets can lead to overeating or a diet:binge cycle and since your body doesn’t want to starve, it responds to overly restrictive diets by slowing your metabolism, which in turn makes it harder to lose weight.
Second, fad diets can be harmful, for example they may lack essential nutrients resulting in an unbalanced diet. They also teach you nothing about healthy eating. This means at the end of the fad diet, you simply revert to the unhealthy eating habits that caused the weight gain in the first place.
Thirdly, overly restrictive diets take the pleasure out of eating which is totally unnecessary in order to lose weight
Fourth, dieting and the compulsive weighing that goes with it can lead to eating disorders. Research has shown that peoplewho diet are 8 times more likely to develop an eating disorder compared to those who don’t.
And lastly, unscrupulous people will be waiting to sell you magic weight loss potions which at best can cost you money and at worst can have dangerous (even fatal) health consequences. If I had £1 for every potential client who had taken a popular detox product containing laxatives, caffeine and appetite suppressants because of its weight loss claims (just think about it!) and ended up feeling ill as a result, I wouldn’t need to spend my time writing these articles to earn a living! In fact have you ever noticed how every diet product claims to be effective if used alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise….?
So if you want to lose some weight before that gala dinner or your next holiday, it’s fine to keep an eye on your portion sizes and skip pudding – that’s healthy eating, but skipping meals or starving yourself is not.
The first step towards permanent healthy weight loss is actually to ditch the diet mindset and think instead about a Healthy Eating Programme like my 30 Day Challenge that you can live with and enjoy long term – pleasurable eating plus regular exercise is the key.
Till next time.
Feelgood Factor – The Holistic Approach to a Healthier Lifestyle
Vicky is a nutrition adviser with a mission to help the nation achieve elite health. We are all living longer so it’s really important to ensure we live as long and healthy a life as we can. Healthy eating, a natural approach to skincare and a reduction in the amount of harmful chemicals in the home all play a part in ensuring we are as healthy as we can be rather than simply not ill. For more information visit vickyfarmer.com
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