Monday, 12 October 2015

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Go on Another Diet

1. Diets do not help you to maintain weight loss in the long-term.
The idea that people fail at diets because of a lack of willpower is a myth that is perpetuated by the diet industry. There are powerful biological factors at play, which essentially ensure that your attempt at dieting will fail . Traci Mann, a researcher who has studied dieting for over 20 years, found that there are metabolic, hormonal, and neurological changes that contribute to "diet failure."According to Mann, "When you are dieting, you actually become more likely to notice food ... But you don't just notice it-it actually begins to look more appetizing and tempting." Mann also stated that as you begin to lose weight, "the hormones that make you feel hungry increase" and "the hormones that help you feel full, or the level of those rather, decreases."Lastly, Mann explained that when you are dieting, "Your metabolism slows down. Your body uses calories in the most efficient way possible ... When your body finds a way to run itself on fewer calories there tends to be more left over, and those get stored as fat."Thus, it comes as no surprise that studies show that 95 percent of people will "fail" at diets. Most people can lose weight in the short-term, however over time the majority will regain the weight that they lost-and potentially gaineven more. Working to suppress your weight below your natural body weight is ultimately a fruitless effort and an utter waste of time. Even if you are in the 5 percent of people who can maintain a suppressed weight in the long-term, think about what you may be giving up in order to achieve this. After all, what good does it do to have "the ideal body," if you are sacrificing eating out, socializing with friends, and your interests outside of calorie-counting and obsessive exercise.

2. Weight loss is not the key to increased happiness.

As stated above, diets do not work if your aim is maintaining weight loss in the long-term. However, I have a problem with the very idea of weight loss as a goal. Tying your happiness to something external is a recipe for discontent.Andrea Bonior, a clinical psychologist, exemplified this point when she stated, "It's not the external achievement of some goal that's going to make us happy. You think that will automatically change your life in some meaningful  way, but it could be that your life pretty much remains the same."
For argument's sake, let's say that you had your "ideal body" and were supremely happy with your appearance. The reality of life is that our bodies will change as we age. Ultimately, putting all of your worth and value into your appearance is akin to boarding a sinking ship.Additionally, people want to be thin because of the meaning that they assign to it. There is a pervasive societal belief, which is the unspoken notion that we can control our world, our relationships, and our self-esteem, through our weight. It makes sense that in a world full of uncertainty, people would desire to focus on something tangible that they falsely believe they can control. However, weight set-point theory holds that your body will work to maintain its set-point weight range through powerful biological and psychological mechanisms. Further, we cannot control our external environment through our attempts at manipulating our weight. What if instead of trying to manipulate or control your weight, you focused on loving and accepting your body exactly as it is now?
Further, counting calories, obsessing about your body fat, and reading diet books, is likely taking time away from more meaningful pursuits. Think about all of the other passions that you could explore if you gave up the goal of weight loss. What if you poured all of the time, money, and energy that you spent on dieting into something that could actually make a difference in the world?

3. Losing weight will not make you healthier.

You can be considered overweight and be healthy. You can also be considered thin and be unhealthy. A person's weight is simply not a good barometer of their overall health.
According to an article in The Nutrition Journal by Dr. Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, "Most epidemiological studiesfind that people who are overweight or moderately obese live at least as long as normal weight people, and often longer."

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