Nutritionists and health experts have a lot to say when it comes to following a healthy lifestyle or losing weight. It’s a well-established fact that strict diets don’t work. At least they don’t work for a long time. Most people are under the impression that once the weight is lost, they can go back to their same eating habits and won’t gain the weight back. They couldn’t be more wrong.
So, that brings us to this question: Can we consider dieting a part of a healthy lifestyle, and if not, who’s there to blame?
Well, let’s start from the beginning. You find this diet, which comes with these strict rules and guidelines. You go home, clean out the cupboard, do some shopping, restock the cupboards with healthy food. Once you stock up the healthy food and promise to yourself that you’ll get rid of that junk food lifestyle and set a goal for yourself. You start telling yourself that it’s going to be different this time. You’ll stick to rules this time and won’t wander away.
But we all know how it will eventually end for you. Or for all of us for that matter. Well, here’s what happens: one day, you get stressed, or you get in a fight with your spouse. Maybe something else happens, and you don’t sleep well for the week. And then a slip-up happens. You allow yourself a little piece of this or a little piece of that, and then it triggers your self-control. And then before you know it, you find yourself downing handfuls of M&M’s, donuts, or pastries. You feel awful and pathetic—like a loser.
But you tell yourself tomorrow’s going to be different. If this story sounds familiar, then your life is in the constant tug-of-war of desperately wanting to lose weight, and the out-of-control drive to eat.
What if I were to tell you it’s not your fault? Would you believe me?
Well, let’s look at the data. Roughly 95% of people who go on a diet and lose weight end up gaining all or more of it back. In the year 2007, UCLA did a study, and they found that dieting consistently leads to weight gain. They also found that dieting leads to binge eating.
Mainly there are seven reasons dieting doesn’t work:
- Dieting intensifies your cravings and makes you preoccupied with thinking about food.
- It makes you eat more, not less.
- Diets make you feel out of control.
- Diets increase both emotional distress and the likelihood that you’re going to end up eating due to that additional stress.
- Dieting creates a whole new category called “eating just because you ate.” Once you start following the strict rules of a diet, you’re either on a diet or breaking those rules. It creates this all-or-nothing mentality that just doesn’t work.
- Diets don’t model the behavior of naturally skinny people. Skinny people aren’t on diets.
- A diet is never going to fix the underlying emotional issues of why you’re eating when you’re not hungry.
So if you want to be skinny, it can’t come from a rigid diet. They don’t work long term. What you have to do is find a lifestyle that fits your needs but is also healthy. For instance, you can start by committing to only eat in restaurants that offer organic options or healthy recipes. Read up on these restaurants. Check out blogs like Texaz Taste to find recommendations on restaurants that promote healthy eating.
Therefore, we can say with confidence that dieting is not a part of a healthy lifestyle, and we have to accept the fact that changing habits take a long time. So, it would be advisable to opt for a healthy diet and avoid processed food rather than pushing yourself towards the path of misery with rigid diets.
Lately, dieting has turned into a fad, often shadowing conversations at parties and gatherings. Every once in a while, you come across this new formula or scheme trying to convince you that avoiding carbohydrates or changing your sleep cycle will magically make you lose your weight overnight. A lot of men and women fall for this trap and find themselves working tirelessly to achieve that dreamy body, which only exists in fashion magazines.
So, for once and all, we need to stop this rat race of following rigid diets one after another and stop falling for these traps. We need to understand that dieting is basically starving yourself all the time and going through suffering for a magical idea. And this idea sells because there’s a whole industry behind it trying to make money off your misery.