Over 80% of people fail to follow through with their diets. That's $26,400,000,000 wasted annually.
One study of dieting obese patients followed them for varying lengths of time. Among those who were followed for fewer than two years, 23 percent gained back more weight than they had lost, while of those who were followed for at least two years, 83 percent gained back more weight than they had lost. . . . One study found that 50 percent of dieters weighed more than 11 pounds over their starting weight five years after the diet.The analysis also found that
In several studies, people in control groups who did not diet . . . were better off than those who did diet.Results like these are not surprising to those who have studied weight loss and dieting. A classic study called the Minnesota Starvation Experiment looked at the results of extreme dieting. The results found that
- Dieters are eight times more likely to develop weight regulation problems
- Dieters have a 300% greater risk of obesity
- 90% of those who severely restrict their eating habits develop binge eating disorders later in life
Why? Why does this happen?
Not so with good health. Good health is a life-long goal. We need to be working on it our entire lives. That's a long time.
Regardless of gender, most of us don't want good health. We just want to be skinny. We don't start our diets thinking that we'll be doing this for the rest of our lives. I mean, do you really plan on buying that companies' weight-loss foods and nutrient-rich smoothies forever? They may be absolutely delicious, but I highly doubt it. Dieting is designed to be temporary. It does not require making lifestyle changes to improve our overall well-being because that's not what we want from a diet. I have friends who love their diets because they didn't have to change anything about their current lifestyle to lose weight. They feel great and didn't even have to sweat.
Of course they feel great. If I lost 30-50 pounds, I'd feel great, too. But maintaining that loss requires more than just feeling great. If you want to keep the weight off but don't want to start exercising or paying better attention to what you're buying at the store, you may find short-term success, but you will fail in the long run. Why do so many people who are already in great shape bother to exercise? It's because they know that good health isn't something you can just start and stop when you want to. Frequent exercisers do what they do because overall good health is something you consistently maintain, not attain.
Maintaining weight loss requires living a healthy lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle requires lifestyle changes. Quit it with the soda (even if it's diet); Stop eating fast food on a regular basis; Don't celebrate every success with food; Do what my grandpa's doc told him to do: "whatever you're eating, eat half of it;" stay hydrated; carbs and meats are amazingly yummy, but keep them to a minimum; Stop seeing weight loss as a goal to attain and start seeing it as a habitual part of a healthy lifestyle. Habits are things that take time to become automatic but tend to stay once you've been doing it long enough. Even if you deviate every once in a while, habits are very easy to go back to.
What do you do to improve your health? What don't you do and why don't you do it?