Diets Don’t Work
Fend off the empty promises of diet culture.
If at first you don’t succeed diet, and diet again. Nowhere is this phrase put more to the test than in the more than 50 million Americans who devote a good part of their lives to repeated attempts to shed unwanted pounds. We appear especially susceptible to the latest diet trend as we ponder our New Year’s Resolutions.
Dieting doesn’t work; most people know this, but pay no attention to the well-researched fact.
Scientists have long ago discovered why dieters ultimately gain back more weight than they lost and are victims of the multimillion-dollar diet industry and of the yo-yo effect. The biochemistry being yo-yo dieting works something like this: threatened by repeated diet cycles, the individuals’ metabolism turned survival minded and gets by on a few calories-the perfect set up for weight regain. Diets (restricting energy intake) teach the body to become more energy-efficient, storing, not spending fat. And, the clincher-dieting subjects the body to hormonal and physiological changes. Which has resulted in eating disorders ranging from anorexia nervosa to binge eating disorder.
So, you might ask, how should you fend off those empty promises of a New Year and a new body that will guarantee to meet all of your emotional, physical, relational, and even financial needs? Someone once said to me. “We take care of those we care about.”
Go into the New Year with the determination to be truly mindful of how you can care for yourself. Look for ways to find joyful movement, eat for both pleasure and health. Balanced eating and activity will help stabilize you at the weight your body, not your wardrobe, wants.
Taking pleasure in movement, connecting with friends and family over favorite meals, resolving to find strength and comfort in your body will all make you feel more confident and in control. When you get right down to it, food isn’t the enemy that makes us miserable; it’s the fuel that keeps us alive.
Tamara Pryor, PHD, FAED