Two-thirds of Americans claim to be on a diet to improve their health. However, very few are actually losing weight using what are often considered tried and true weight loss methods.
According to Janet Tomiyama, a graduate student of psychology at UCLA and co-author of a study published in American Psychologist, “Several studies indicate that dieting is actually a consistent predictor of future weight gain. One study found that both men and women who participated in formal weight loss programs gained significantly more weight over a two-year period than those who had not participated in a weight loss program.”
Dr. Mark Hyman, writing in the Huffington Post, states, “The average person gains 11 pounds for every diet they go on.”
According to Michigan Health & Wellness, the reasons why diets and other weight loss methods fail are as follows:
|Diets deprive us.
Many diets involve eliminating certain foods or even whole food groups. This is not only unhealthy but also unrealistic for the long term.
|Diets are temporary.
Once they have reached their goal, most people go back to “normal” eating, so the weight comes back.
|Diets often don’t fit into normal life.
Weighing and measuring food may help you lose weight, but aren’t practical as long-term strategies for most people.
|Diets can be expensive.
Buying special foods can rack up expenses quickly.
|Diets can actually lower your metabolism.
When you drastically cut back on calories, your metabolism tends to slow down. You burn fewer calories and the diet becomes less effective.
|Diet is only half of the equation.
Lifetime weight management is not just about what you eat. It requires physical activity as well. Experts recommend 60-90 minutes a day 3-5 days a week.
In Eat + Run, The US News & World Report Blog on diet and fitness, author Yoni Freedhoff, M.D. contends that “for the past 100 years, dieting has been synonymous with suffering. The more weight a person wants to permanently lose, the more of their lives they’ll need to permanently change, so go figure that weight lost through suffering comes back.”