• Diets Don't Work

    If you’ve been struggling with your weight for years, you probably already know this:

    Need Statistics?

    The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 35.9% percent of Americans are obese and an additional 33.3% are overweight. In fact, Psychology Today reports that about 95% of people who do lose weight gain it all back within five years. Almost one third of those people will gain more weight than they originally lost.

    If somebody had found the magical key to staying thin, chances are those numbers would be a lot lower.  So why the disappointing statistics? There’s a very simple explanation for this: diets are not meant to be long-term solutions. They provide instant gratification -- mostly in the form of lower numbers on the scale -- but little to no definite answer to your weight-loss problems. After all, there’s a reason you gained the weight in the first place. Until you address that issue, the weight will not stay away for long.

    Why Diets Don’t Work

    In order to lose 1 lb. of body fat, you need to either burn or cut down 3,500 calories from your life. A weight loss of 2 lbs. per week would require a whopping 7,000 calories being eliminated from your life. If the number sounds quite high, you’re right. It’s not as easy as it sounds to eliminate that many calories from your diet, unless your current diet consists of things daily fast food combos and ice cream.

    Any diet that promises a weight loss of more than a couple of pounds a week is promising “fake” results. Crash diets that result in a weight loss of several pounds within days are actually causing you to lose water weight -- rather than fat. This is a common outcome with low-carb diets since carbs retain water, cutting them off from your diet will lead to a quick loss of water weight. Unfortunately, water weight is just that: water. Once you go back to eating carbs, increase your sodium intake, or get off the restrictive diet chances are every single ounce you lost will come back.

    The Danger of Fad Diets

    Fad or crash diets are meant to provide you with quick results -- regardless of whether your health suffers along the way. If you think that’s an extreme statement, consider this: a crash diet that consists of 800 calories or less has no chance of providing you with all the necessary nutrients for optimal health. The same is true of diets that completely eliminate a food group or that force you to eat the same thing over and over again while neglecting other sources of nutrients. Your health will suffer. Common consequences of fad diets are constipation (due to a lack of fiber), weakness and dizziness, weak hair, and dry skin. Over the years, fad diets can lead to serious vitamin deficiencies.  

    Diets are not meant to be long-term solutions.
    And that’s not all. Fad diets also have an emotional and psychological impact. According to the National Centre for Eating Disorders, an UK-based organization, dieting can awaken feelings of worthlessness. Every time you fail to maintain your weight loss, you might feel less confident and more “like a failure,” according to the NCFED. In some people, these feelings can eventually develop into obsessions or even eating disorders. Even if you don’t reach those extremes, though, you’ll still feel anxious and stressed about eating and dieting -- which in turn can lead to more weight gain because stress can trigger cravings for fatty and sugary food.
    The Bottom Line
    If you’re ready to lose weight and keep it off, your best bet is to step away from fad diets. Instead, change your eating habits and your lifestyle permanently. Not only is this more effective in the long run -- but it’s also healthier for both your body and your mind.

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