Society's obsession with being thin doesn't appear to have motivated many people to shed weight and keep it off. One expert suggests that people give up on dieting and learn to hear their bodies. Linda Bacon, a speaker and author, plans a free lecture about them Nov. 8 in the center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard 2 Day Diet Pills Pratt Health System. She answers some questions here about weight myths and dieting.
So why do so many people diet, and why do they fail?
It's not surprising that a lot of people diet when you look at our cultural assumptions and the messages forwarded by a few of our most influential and authoritative sources. Health professionals, government agencies, newspapers, fashion experts and celebrities bombard us with promises that slimming down is the key to becoming healthier, happier, sexier and more successful, and that dieting may be the method of doing it. Who wouldn't want to reap these rewards by trying out the latest, greatest weight-loss plan?
The problem is, weight loss remains elusive for that vast majority of people. Despite commonly held assumptions that we can control our weight by watching our diet and regular exercise, both science and history prove that sustained weight loss is not possible in the long run for most people. While these behavioral changes might result in weight loss for the short term, the truth is that biological safeguards cause our bodies to face up to maintaining weight loss. Most people, no matter willpower or diet or exercise, regain the load they lose with time. Research clearly shows that few individuals maintain significant weight or weight loss by increasing their exercise, even if dieting and exercise habits are maintained.
The failure of dieting can not be blamed on the possible lack of discipline or resolve of dieters, but on our bodies' stubborn insistence to hold onto these pounds just in case we want them to survive. Whatever the strength and determination of one's willpower, biology wins out and the pounds return. Even though you have strong willpower and may resist the biologically driven appetite surge, the body can slow down your metabolism so you spend less energy, thus compensating for that fewer calories after you are consuming.
Not only does research reveal that weight reduction is not possible for most of us, it also demonstrates that prescribing weight reduction isn't an ideal way to promote improved health and well-being. Those promises of higher health insurance and greater happiness related to slimming down just don't prove true. On the other hand, our cultural obsession with slimming down has inspired damaging negative effects, including food and weight preoccupation, eating disorders, stress and discrimination. Not many of us are at peace with this bodies, whether because we're fat or because we're scared of getting that way. That very stress can increase our risk for diseases we blame on weight, like diabetes and hypertension, assisting to explain why they are usually more prevalent in larger people.
Is there a better way to help someone, or yourself, eat better without dieting?
Absolutely. The well-tested solution I promote within my books, "Health at each Size" and "Body Respect," co-authored with Lucy Aphramor, is to quit to manage your weight and permit your body to complete the job for you personally -- naturally and much more effectively. The body let you know just how much to consume and which foods perform best, if you are mindful of its signals. You will settle in a weight that is best for you. And rather than forcing oneself to struggle via a tedious workout because we think this is the only way to obtain fit, try expanding your notion of exercise to include any way of moving that really feels good. Dance, shoot some hoops with your kids, walk to the store instead of always driving -- many of these bring about your overall fitness and well-being, and might be fun.
Science supports these approaches to 2 Day Diet Japan Lingzhi improved wellness to be a lot more effective than traditional dieting and forced exercise regimes. Randomized controlled studies, including one I conducted with funding in the National Institutes of Health, show that this method improves well-being, lowering blood pressure level and cholesterol while elevating self-esteem.
How important is really a person's outlook?
Remember this: You have not failed at dieting; the diet failed you. Ironically, it's when you dump this diet mentality you have real chance to get what you want.