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Why Diets Suck

scale and tape measure

Don’t Ever Diet Again

I hate diets. And I can say that because I’ve tried plenty. And failed each and every time.

I know plenty of people have success with dieting, but for every person that finds something that works for them, there are many more that try and try, and then slide back into their old habits.

The statistics for people who try and fail on any kind of diet are alarming. Take a look at these numbers.

  • More than one third of all adults in the U.S. are considered obese.
  • Depending on who you listen to, Americans spend anywhere from 40-60 billion dollars per year on diet products, plans, and services.
  • Statistics indicate that between 90-95 percent of all diet fail. I guess a lot of that depends on how you define a failure, but to me it’s always meant that whatever weight you lose when dieting you eventually gain back. FAIL!
  • Up to 50 percent of all U.S. women are on a diet at any given time.
  • About 50 percent of the people who are dealing with eating disorders also meet the criteria for depression.
  • One of the most popular ways of cutting calories is to switch to diet soda instead of regular soda.

A Better Diet Alternative

It’s no secret that most diets, and especially fad diets, don’t seem to work for the long term. While it’s true that some diets will get you to drop weight quickly, it’s another matter altogether when you try to maintain that weight loss.

You don’t need another diet, and neither do I. What I think we all need is a basic shift in mindset.

We need to approach food in a different manner. Let me tell you what I mean by that.

Long ago, food was just the means to an end, something to sustain you and keep you alive and well. In its basic form it was just fuel to keep our bodies running.

While food still performs that rudimentary function today, it has also evolved to be much more than just a basic necessity.

Think back to when you were a child and all the memories of favorite foods you have. Perhaps it was certain pies at Christmas or a delicious dish your mother made that holds a special place in your memory.

Comfort Food

Comfort Food Mac and Cheese

Some foods just conjure up good memories for us, and they fall into the category of what people call “comfort foods”.  I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

For me, Shepard’s Pie and any kind of pasta do the trick, but for some reason I also have potato chips that fall into this category.

It’s these foods that I tend to overeat, because they make me feel good mentally and I don’t care whether they’re good for me or not. I get a good feeling  from eating them.

I don’t fight the urge to eat these comfort foods anymore, because it’s futile for me. But since I’ve changed my mindset about dieting in general, it’s not really a problem for me these days.

Look at some of the points below to see why diet is a 4 letter word that you should eliminate from your vocabulary.

  • They are unrealistic to maintain. Most are too rigid and don’t allow any flexibility, and as humans we’ll only put up with that crap for so long before we rebel. You’re almost setting yourself up for failure.
  • As soon as you get bored and deviate, you’ll probably gain back all the weight you lost.
  • You’ll be grumpy. I guarantee it. Regimented diet plans can turn the most mellow person into a mood-swinging mess. It can put a strain on relationships and jobs, etc.
  • They can be downright expensive. Certain diets require you to join a club or buy their food, which really adds up.
  • Your diet will affect everyone around you. Chances are, the rest of your family wants no part of your new diet. Don’t force them into dietary compliance just because you’ve jumped on the latest bandwagon that rolled by.
  • There is no magic diet. The plain truth is, there is no magic fix. The path to optimum health is full of pitfalls and obstacles, and signing up for one specific diet doesn’t address underlying problems.

Look, I get it. Lots of people find success by joining a specific program or following a regimented plan to lose weight, and if it works for you I think that’s wonderful.

But the ugly truth is that diets fail for most people who try them.

The Dieting Answer

I believe there is an answer.

And actually, it’s pretty simple in concept. Please bear with me.

I believe it’s a mindset thing. A simple change in thinking about the way we approach food.

To do this, you need to understand why you eat. It might sound simple, but when most people answer survey questions about this, hunger comes in near the bottom of the list.

People eat out of boredom, or stress, or some other automatic stimulation. I know that sometimes I still find myself opening the fridge door 20 minutes after I’ve eaten dinner. Sounds crazy, but it happens to everyone.

So understanding more about what drives you to eat will go a long way towards changing your attitude about food in general.

What’s more important than your health?

You could argue that like your children’s welfare or taking care of an aging parent may be your top priority. But if you’re not taking care of yourself properly then you won’t be able to take of those who depend upon you, either.

Commit to learning all you can about nutrition and how your body processes certain foods. Take every opportunity to think about what you’re eating and why.

Learn to eat slowly and enjoy your food rather than zip thru a fast food drive thru lane and wolf things down on the way to your next appointment.

Slow down and stop and think.

That’s about all I can say. I know the mindset shift is a tough one for some people, but commit to trying to learn as much as you can about the food you’re putting into your body.

It’s a fascinating and fun journey, I promise.



About the Author Ted

Ted is a writer and avid researcher on the subject of nutrition and general wellness. He has recently published books on Sugar Detox as well as the inflammation epidemic, and continues to improve his knowledge by constantly remaining up to date with the latest news and trends in the nutrition world. When not busy writing, you can find him playing banjo and guitar, or outside fishing.

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