Why ‘Diets’ Don’t Work?

Why ‘Diets’ don’t work?

I confess I come from a history of dieting, I’ve tried pretty much every single diet you can think of; Atkins, Cabbage Soup Diet, Scarsdale, Weight Watchers, High Protein, Low Calorie…the list goes on and there is a reason why none of them work. I remember as a kid doing a Jane Fonda video (yes Jane Fonda) with my sister and thinking…ah, yes this is what you need to do for hours to get a slim toned body!

The first issue is that ‘Diet’ is more broadly used with this term ‘restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food to lose weight’ rather than it’s definition ‘the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats’.

There is so much research out there as to why diets don’t work. The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior published an article that looked at how adolescents rely on popular fad diets to lose weight on their own. They identified popular adolescent diet fads on social media. The review demonstrated that social media is being used to inform adolescences about dieting. While information presented in social media presents positive conclusions, there was little high-quality evidence from research literature that improved overall health outcomes. It concluded that there is a gap in information that is widely available and what qualified nutrition educators consider best practice*. This highlighted a gap in knowledge and misinformation.

A perfect example is this craze to reduce or worse, omit Carbohydrates from your diet.

Here are the main reasons I’m against diets and why I would urge you to make lifestyle changes instead and not fall in this trap which in the long term is harmful:

  1. It’s been proven that 95% of people who lose weight by dieting regain it after 1-5 years**
  2. It promotes overeating and could develop into an Eating Disorder including Binge Eating
  3. They can slow down your metabolism
  4. Some of them miss out a key nutritional element from your diet
  5. It’s psychologically not fun!
  6. These magic tea’s and juices can leave you with long term fatal health issues
  7. Some individuals have issue with weight due to psychological impacts which need addressing via therapy and a qualified educator

To conclude, you need to adjust your lifestyle to a ‘balance’ that works for you. If your end goal is just weight loss rather than health then I would urge you to rethink that and nutrition/exercise will become much more enjoyable. If you gain weight due to psychological factors like Binge Eating then I would really consider seeing a specialist for support, Beat is a great website to help you find confidential help***.

 

Sources:

*https://www.jneb.org/article/S1499-4046(16)30221-4/abstract?code=jneb-site

**https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb

***https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/

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