Rhonda’s Top 10 Reasons Diets Don’t Work

August 10, 2009

1. Dieting is a type of starvation. You are literally starving your body of the proper nutrients and energy it needs for healthy living. You can’t live long or healthfully without proper nutrition.

2. Dieting is temporary and is not about a permanent lifestyle change. Sure, many people can lose 5-10# by drastically reducing their intake over a short period of time, but, as soon the restrictions are over, weight is often regained. Long term health and weight management is the result of practicing healthy lifestyle choices over a long period of time.

3. Dieting is about having willpower. Willpower= self control; having self control in regards to eating, means that you are restraining from eating what you like to eat or how much. This restraint creates a viscous cycle, starting with giving into your restraint, feeling guilty, and then restraining again. It eventually leads no where.

4. When you are on a diet, you are allowed to eat less food, but, you tend to think about it more! Studies have shown that dieting makes people more preoccupied with food.

5. Dieting promotes disconnection of eating. Being on a diet, means following rules and teaches you to ignore your body’s internal cues about what, when, and how much to eat. Healthful eating involves eating based on hunger, which means being connected to your needs.

6. Dieting makes people feel guilty and shameful for eating things that are “off the diet” or labeled as “bad foods”. These negative feelings may cause some people to quit the diet and overeat. When you are eating healthfully, you are free to enjoy all foods without judgment or guilt.

7. Dieting makes people moody. Very low calorie diets, especially those that lack carbohydrates, can cause low blood sugar which can contribute to irritability. Plus, the mere fact of restricting intake, can also make people depressed and irritable. Eventually people stop restricting in order to feel happy again!

8. Dieting may cause social isolation. When you’re following the diet rules, it can be very challenging to be out at a restaurant, party, or other social situation. Many dieters choose to avoid these opportunities for social engagement in order to “be good”.

9. Dieting slows down your metabolism. Each time you drastically restrict your energy intake, your body adapts so that energy is used more efficiently (your body burns energy at a slower rate). Over time, it becomes harder and harder to lose weight.

10. There are literally thousands of diets out there….If diets worked, obesity would not be an epidemic in our country.

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2 Responses to “Rhonda’s Top 10 Reasons Diets Don’t Work”

  1. Mark Marinaccio Says:

    So what is the solution to staying healthy and losing unwanted weight?

  2. rnutrition Says:

    Hi Mark,
    Thanks for your question! There really is no “solution” that fits everyone. But, in general, a healthy way to lose extra weight without dieting involves eating based on hunger. This means eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’re full, and not eating when you’re not. Sounds simple? It can actually be very challenging and means that you need to be a conscious eater. Conscious eating also involves choosing foods based on how they make you feel and how they nourish you. Most people would agree that healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains actually make them feel better than eating a diet high in sugars and fats.
    Another important component to losing weight and staying healthy is exercise. Choose an activity that you enjoy and try to do it daily or at least several times per week.

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