Monday, April 23, 2007

Why diets don't work

Why don't diets work?

Your weight is a balance that comes from what you eat (take in) and the energy you expend (activity). When you go on a diet, you eat less, so you lose weight until you come to a new balance. Then you stop losing weight. The lower amount of food you're eating creates a new balance level.

When you go off the diet, you eat more, so you gain weight again. It's that simple.

Their are many components to losing weight, including both what you eat and your level of activity. From the eating side, to lose weight permanently, you need to change the amount of food you eat permanently. This principle is so obvious, that it's hard to understand why more people don't understand this.

If it sounds depressing, it's not really. That's because you don't need to be "on a diet" all your life. Diets are too extreme. The change you need to make permanently isn't as extreme; it's much easier. Not easy, but easier than being "on a diet."

The right diet for you depends on your situation. I'll be talking a lot in this blog about customizing a solution, but some people feel they need rules to follow.

Follow rules is one of many techniques for dealing with compulsive eating. So, if you need to follow a diet, here's my suggestion:

Find a diet system that's healthy and includes a maintenance diet. Then, forget the diet part! Just go on the maintenance diet! If the diet is in a book, it's probably in the last chapter. The maintenance diet will be less severe, more healthy, and easier to follow.

You're less likely to boomerang back and regain the weight. And you'll understand that you need to commit to it for the rest of your life. That's what maintenance diets are for.

Diets seduce you by telling you you'll lose weight more quickly, but it's just a seduction. The diet won't keep its promise, so don't be fooled.

No comments: