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It seems every day there is a new diet gracing the covers of the magazines. Miracle diet, The Hollywood diet, The Bikini diet, there are a million diets that grab our attention and send us into a period of complete misery. So why do we diet? Why not just take up a sensible eating plan and start exercising, instead of torturing ourselves with starvation?
People really are under the misconception that a diet is the only way to lose weight. In actual fact, 95-97% of people who do lose weight on a diet will put the weight back on, plus usually a bit more. There are two main reasons for this.
Firstly, going on a diet causes your body to think it is heading towards a famine. Obviously, famines are something we don’t experience in our country, but our bodies were designed in a time when food was often scarce. We would have to find our food before we ate it, and there often wasn’t enough to be found. So our bodies have a mechanism that causes the body to start storing food as fat to get us through the tough times when we couldn’t eat. By going on a diet, or restricting your food intake, you are simple making your body store the food instead of burning it for energy. Not exactly what you want from a diet!
The next affect of going on a diet is the emotional response it causes. How many times have you said to yourself, “I will start my diet tomorrow “ then spent the day gorging yourself? You know this could be the last time you are allowed to eat chocolate cake or hot chips before your diet restricts you from enjoying yourself. Then every time you slip up on the diet, you will use the same theory. Eat as much as you can so you can go back to the diet tomorrow.
The other negative effect of a diet is when people become obsessed by the very thing they are trying to avoid. The whole time you are on the diet, you are focusing on food. NOT eating food to be exact! But by trying not to eat because of your diet, you usually end up wanting to eat everything in sight. Even if you are successful at your diet, this effect usually kicks in when you go back to your normal foods. You crave all the foods you have missed out on while on the diet, so binge eat to make up for all the diet deprivation. This diet behaviour can stick with people their whole lives, resulting in a life of constantly being on a diet with no long-term results.
So what other options are there other than a diet? People must be educated on how to lose weight sensibly without dieting. One weight loss company has actually designed a Program that doesn’t rely on a diet to lose weight. Betalife helps people understand where they are going wrong and guides them towards lifestyle changes instead.
No more diets. I’ll drink to that.