4 Reasons Diets Fail
Scientists are still baffled by the mysterious nature of weight regain. Why is it so difficult to lose weight and manage to keep it off in the long run? Where exactly are we making a huge mistake? It almost feels like the more we try, the bigger the bounce effect is.
And our modern way of living doesn’t really help us! It seems like there is a new diet every few weeks, promising the moon and stars. People are flooded with constant information about how they are supposed to live their lives, what foods they should eat, and how active they must be. New health gurus pop up from everywhere, and it is no surprise that modern consumers don’t know who to trust.
We are here to shed some light on this very controversial topic and offer some evidence-based solutions.
The most popular food regimens are nothing more than fad diets. Promising great results, but failing miserably to deliver anything else apart from disappointment and a crushed spirit. And the examples, unfortunately, are many. The Atkins diet villainized carbohydrates and managed somehow to convince millions of people that all starches are their enemy. The Paleo diet persuaded its followers that they should follow the eating patterns of ancient humans who actually had a significantly shorter lifespan. Soon another one will pop up. And then another one. The bottom line is that they are all temporary and often unhealthy fixes to a problem that requires a more stable and long term solution.
Not a lifestyle
People crave quick fixes. They jump excitedly at the possibility of losing weight with minimal effort and in a short period of time. Like magic. The annoying thing is that with pretty much any diet people can lose about 10% of their weight, but this is what scientists call the honeymoon stage. Unfortunately, the short run isn’t the whole picture. Dieting is destined to fail no matter how hard you try and how stubborn you are.
All health gurus and companies advertising quick fixes don’t care about your wellbeing and future success. They make money off failure, not success. They don’t want to offer you a one-time solution, help you get back on your feet, and teach you how to take care of your body in the long run.
Many people mistakenly think that it all comes down to self-control with weight loss, but unfortunately, it is much more complex than that. After you diet and lose weight, so many physiological changes occur in your body that it becomes next to impossible to keep the weight off. The first change is neurological – your brain starts to pretty much obsess over food, and especially tasty looking food. Basically, the thing you are trying so hard to resist becomes much harder to resist. The second change is hormonal – leptin, the hormone responsible for satiety, decreases while ghrelin, the hormone controlling hunger levels, increases. The final change is metabolic and has the most significant effect. Metabolism slows down and your body sneakily finds a way to function on fewer calories, resulting in increases in fat storage. Research suggests that dieters regain more than half of what they lose within 2 years. It’s hard to lose weight, but it is even harder to keep it off!
“All or nothing” mindset
For people losing weight on a diet is a success. If the weight comes back on, then the diet was a failure. But psychologically speaking that’s not entirely correct. Failing is a necessary part of the process because that’s how we learn and become better next time.
Let’s say someone brings a box of doughnuts in the office. You resist the urge when they put them on the desk and every time you see them again, maybe 20 or even more times. But if you fail on the 25th time and end up eating a doughnut, then you don’t get credit for resisting all those previous times. And that’s deeply problematic, because in any other area that would be an A+, but in eating that’s a definite F.
Getting distracted and making a small mistake when it comes to other achievements is seen as a learning curve. With eating, however, a moment of weakness can undo all of your previous small successes. So, scratch that “all or nothing” mindset and accept that it is a journey!
For centuries, both men and women alike have worked tirelessly to fit the physical appearance standards of their time. Nowadays, the situation is not much different. Nourishment and care are what we need the most, not the next hyped diet that does nothing! Spare yourself the disappointment and choose to be kind and attentive to your body.
Choose a lifestyle, not a diet and with time change will come!.