Diets Don’t Work

For any of you who have been on the site for a while, you know that I am a huge opponent to dieting, and my stand is based on factual evidence about why diets don’t work, and the dangers involved in the process.
Just a few reminders:

Did you know that 95% of all people who diet will regain their lost weight in one to five years? Diets may help you lose weight in the short-run, but in the long-run, your body will respond by regaining the lost weight and possibly MORE.

In fact, in one long-term study of close to 200 participants in a commercial weight loss program, almost 40% of the dieters had gained back more weight than they had originally lost just three years after their diet. (Grodstein, F. (1996). Archives of Internal Medicine, 156, 1302-1306.)

How can this be?
a) For one reason, consitent dieting can actually lower your resting metabolic rate. Your RMB measures how quickly your body uses the energy you provide it through food. After consistent periods of dieting, your body will use the energy you provide it more slowly. You won’t be “burning” calories at the same rate anymore (French, S.A. & Jeffrey, R. W., Healthy Psychology, 13(3).)
b) For another reason, think about your mindset when you are coming off of a diet. After those days or weeks of dieting, you are probably really excited to eat some of the ‘forbidden foods’ from your fasting period. But, your body’s metabolism has slowed down during your diet to make sure that it could process enough energy to keep you alive. So, when you switch gears and start eating reguarly again, yoru metabolism doens’t respond at the same pre-diet rate. That’s why people gain the weight they lose on a diet right back.
c) In the long-run your body is likely to hover around a ‘set-point’ or natural weight. This is the weight that your body will naturally tend to stay at or near if you feed it regular, healthy, balanced meals and stay moderately active. You can diet to change your weight for short periods of time, but for most people, your body’s metabolism will tend to lead you back to your set-point weight, which is influenced by genetics.

There is much to be read about this issue, but please consider the information above, and remember one more thing….the majority of people who are suffering from an eating disorder started off by dieting in an effort to change their body size. They now have an eating disorder, and they are likely either near death or at a higher weight than when the dieting began due to metabolism changes or bingeing/purging as a result of the starvation.

Think about this friends….Jan ?

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