Do Diets Work?

by Patrick Cooper 2 years ago in diet / advice / fitness

The truth behind the ever-popular weight loss method.

Do Diets Work?

A current statistic that has been tossed around for decades is that 95 percent of all dieters will regain their lost weight within a year of losing it. However, that doesn't seem to fret the 45 million people in the US currently dieting, and in doing so boosting the health industry. However, with the current popularity of eating well and exercising, you may ask yourself, why aren’t we losing weight while we diet? In this blog, we will discuss the three main factors that determine how one loses weight on a diet, as well as why someone may not lose weight at all on a diet.

Dieting Slows Down Weight Loss

This may seem like a red flag to those who diet to try and lose weight, but your body will work against you if a diet acts as a stressor to the body. Let’s break that down a little bit; when we are stressed, we release stress hormones to try and slow down the rate at which we burn calories. Since dieting means changing up the amount and type of food we eat, the body jumps into panic mode due to a reduced calorie intake and tries to reduce weight loss as much as possible in an effort to preserve energy and stay alive.

The Change Is Not Sustainable

Most people can alter their diet for a week or two, but diets like these often do not last. They often boil down to the eat this, not that model. What you eat is important, of course, but altering the foods you eat is not enough to create lasting change. Eating different foods will not break your old, bad eating habits. That's because this tactic doesn't take into account the 'why' of eating or the deeply ingrained patterns and behaviors that led to our eating choices in the first place.

To make real, sustainable change in our eating habits, we need to determine why we eat and how we eat. We must make changes in our external food choices and our internal psychology of eating.

Diets Are No Fun!

With all diets, there is some sort of list of foods you are not allowed to eat in order to be successful and lose weight. These diets are restrictive and involve depriving yourself. You must have the willpower to stick to the rules. The problem with this approach to losing weight, though, is that there is no joy. When you are constantly worried about rules, how can you take any pleasure out of being healthy?

Excessive limitation causes a constant state of tension when around food, which creates stress in the body. As I acknowledged above, stress can lead to an increased amount of adrenaline and cortisol, which makes it more difficult for our bodies to burn calories. By restricting your diet, you are creating conditions that actually make it harder to lose weight.

If you do not enjoy what and how you eat, weight loss becomes an uphill battle. You need to create a positive relationship with food and enjoy yourself in order to be successful.

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Patrick Cooper

husband, personal trainer, health + fitness blogger.

See all posts by Patrick Cooper