• AJ Lau

TO DIET OR NOT TO DIET?


How many times have you started a diet and lost a chunk of weight... only to put it back on again?


How many times has your new diet attempt resulted in you putting on MORE weight that when you started?


If this sounds like you then the good news is that you are normal, and in the majority of people who diet.


The bad news - diet's don't work.


Considering your intention was to lose weight, yet you put more on in the long run it begs the question - should you have even dieted in the first place?


You would probably be better off if you had not bothered with the diet at all.


When researchers compiled and looked into the effectiveness of 31 different long term diet studies[1] what they found was people typically lose 5-10% of their starting weight in the first 6 months but then most end up putting it all back on plus some more.


Several studies have shown us that dieting is a consistent predictor of future weight gain. So when you look at it that way - you are really just trading quick wins for future guilt and depression. (And another diet that will likely have the same effect of adding more weight)


We also know, that repeatedly losing and regaining weight (weight cycling) is linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and altered immune function.


One study found that in dieters and non dieters who were followed for 2 years - both male and female dieters put on more weight that those who didn't diet.

So look again at your diet history and ask yourself :

Why are you putting all the effort in?

Are you putting the effort into the right areas?

Is it really worth it?


So if dieting is not going to work the way you want then what does?


Studies consistently find that people who report the most exercise do better overall.


Exercise and healthy eating combined are beneficial for weight management, but this is enhanced when we maintain a regular eating pattern and refrain from weight loss diets.


One of the main principles I work on with clients is maintaining a pattern of regular eating. It may sound old fashioned but 3 square meals a day and optional snacks really does seem to be beneficial for health and for maintenance of a healthy weight range.


I say healthy weight range because it's impossible for our bodies to maintain the exact same weight all the time, and there is no one weight that can be specifically healthy for you because health has many facets.


Further benefits are seen when we live fulfilling lives and make our overall wellbeing a priority.[2]


This is important to note because I find that many people are searching for the diet to make them happy. The diet that will finally allow them to do something or be something.


Dieting is often covering up something else going on so it's important to address those mental health areas when a client comes looking for weight loss as the answer to a problem.


I hope this has opened your eyes to dieting and helped you to look at what might also be going on for you when it seems your life's purpose is to find the best diet.


What do you really want to be remembered for when you take your last breath?


If you would like to work with me on healing your relationship with food and stop being trapped in the diet cycle then book in a no obligation friendly chat to find out how I can help you.



REFERENCES

[1] Mann T, Tomiyama AJ, Westling E, Lew AM, Samuels B, Chatman J. Medicare's search for effective obesity treatments: diets are not the answer. Am Psychol. 2007;62(3):220‐233. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.62.3.220


[2] Ulla Kärkkäinen, Linda Mustelin, Anu Raevuori, Jaakko Kaprio, Anna Keski-Rahkonen. Successful weight maintainers among young adults—A ten-year prospective population study. Eating Behaviors, 2018; 29: 91 DOI: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2018.03.004

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Tel: 07532-168-273

© 2019 by AJ Lau