Why Diets Don't Work
© Leah Graves, R.D., L.D.
(may be copied for educational purposes only)
Facts about Dieting:
- Americans are dieting at the highest rate in history
- 20-24% of American men and 33-40% of American women are activley
dieting to lose weight
- An additional 28% of American men and women are dieting to
- The diet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Over
the past 20 years, the diet industry in the US has tripled its gross annual income to a
staggering $50 billion.
Dieting has Risks
- Dieting may contribute to obesity
- America's obsession with thinness may actually contribute to
- Obesity rates are at a historical high; nearly 1 out of every 3
Americans is considered to be obese
- Dieting can lead to eating disorders
- 59% of individuals entering treatment for eating disorders
considered a prolonged period of dieting as a precipitating event to the onset of their
Diets Do Not Necessarily Lead to Weight Loss
- Diets work only 5 to 10% of the time.
- Most dieters regain the weight within five years.
- Dieters who regain weight often weigh more after dieting then
Why Dieting Does Not Lead to Lasting Weight Loss
- Research shows that weight is to a great degree, genetically
- The goal of dieting is that the body uses its stored form of
energy to make up for the energy . This works in theory but not in practice
- The body defends against weight loss both physiologically and
- The psychologically changes the occur when food intake is
decreased include preoccupation with food and feelings of deprivation accompionied by
intense food cravings.
- The compilation of psychological changes often leads to stopping
the diet or to an overeating episode or binge. As the body has decreased energy needs at
this time, the liklihood that the dieter will gain weight is high.
- Physiological defenses against weight loss, such as a lowering of
metabolic rate a slowing of gastric motility, and fatigue are aimed at decresing the bodys
need for energy and enhancing its ability to absorb energy from food.
- Dieting can lead to weight gin do to the reduced need for energy
and increased ability to absorb energy from food.
The Problem With Frequent dieting
- Frequent dieting attempts may further complicate weight management
- Research shows that regained weight is often fat
- If the dieter is attempting to weigh a particular number, the
increase in fat stores may be at the expence of muscle tissue, which is more metabolically
active than fat tissue
- As a result the metabolic needs of the frequent dieter decreases
over time due to the numerous dieting attempts and weight cycles.
Weight Management- An Alternative To Dieting
- Adopting more effective and reasonable approaches to weight
management offers the best out look for physical and psychological health
- Learning to reduce health risk by engaging in weight management,
not dieting , seems the most approiate course of action
- According to the american Dietetic Association, "weight
management" is defined as the adoption of healthfuland substantial eating and
exercise behaviors indicated for reduced disease risk and improved feelings of energy anf
- In simpler terms, weight management is learning to eat and
- Modest changes regaurding eating and exercise habits can result in
a small, maintainable weight change
- these changes, when maintained over years, significantly reduce
the risk of many illnesses considered to be complicated by obesidy (e.g.,
cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, adlut onset diabetes, gastrointestinal
disease, sleep apnea)
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