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Why Diets Don’t WorkWhy Diets Don’t Work


Why Diets Don't Work

The phrase "diets don't work" means that diets don't work in the long run. You may temporarily lose weight, but traditional approaches to dieting are not usually effective. If you simply go on a diet and don't permanently change your lifestyle, you will eventually gain back the weight.

  • Approximately 90 to 95% of dieters fail to keep the weight off permanently. This means that traditional dieting has a dismal success rate of only 5 to 10%.
  • It is estimated that about half of American women are on a diet at any given time. Despite this large number of dieting individuals, one-third of Americans obese.

So, what is the answer? We must revamp our lifestyles and permanently incorporate self-loving behaviors that include consuming healthy foods and performing daily enjoyable activities.

Crash diets are punishing, ineffective, and are often motivated by self-loathing and body dissatisfaction. Few people can sustain such a negative way of life. Instead, focus on the positive. Don't force yourself to live on grapefruit, bacon, or cabbage soup. Instead, find healthy foods that you enjoy. If you don't like to run, don't. Find a form of exercise that is enjoyable to you. You will find that making positive, healthy changes to your lifestyle can be very rewarding and reinforcing. The end result is a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle that is permanent.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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