Top 10 Reasons to Ditch Diets
By Dr. Ellen Albertson on May 06, 2014
Today, May 6th is International No Diet Day (INDD). The holiday is dedicated to raising awareness of how unhealthy and harmful dieting can be and teaching people how to have a healthier relationship with food. In honor of INDD I've put together a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Ditch Diets.
1. Diets don’t work
You may lose a few pounds by following the latest fad diet and starving yourself, but study after scientific study shows that dieting does not result in lasting weight loss. In other words… diets don’t work!
Body size is largely determine by genetics, and since you can’t fool Mother Nature why are you torturing yourself? You’ve heard that old sports adage: No pain, no gain. When it comes to diets it’s: Lots of pain, still gain. See #2 below for details.
2. Diets lead to weight gain, not weight loss
You read that right. Dieting makes you heavier! This is really important so let me explain: Every time you diet your body thinks you are starving so it ratchets down your metabolism and ratchets up fat storing capacity. I know you don’t want to believe me. It’s hard to accept the fact that you’ve wasted all that time and energy denying yourself food; making yourself hungry, grouchy and tired for no reason. Yes it’s true, dieting is a waste of time, money and energy that only hurts your health (mental and physical), wealth and waistline. Ever see a happy dieter outside of a diet commercial? Time to smash your scale and get a life.
3. Diets train you to ignore hunger
You were born with a hunger instinct. It’s normal. The drive to eat keeps you alive. Diets teach you to ignore your hunger by forcing you to follow rigid rules about what, when and how much to eat. Years of dieting have trained you to believe that you can’t control yourself around food and suppressing your appetite is virtuous.
If you’ve been on the diet rollercoaster, eating when you are hungry may feel strange and confusing. You need to listen to your body when it speaks and stop letting diet industry propaganda drown out your natural, healthy, hunger cues. You already know how to eat. When you were a baby you came with a hunger alert system: SCREAMING. You still have that alert system; dieting has just silenced it. Time to mute the diet, let the hunger volume rise and listen to it.
4. Diets are dangerous stress inducers
Research shows dieting increases both chronic psychological stress and more dangerously the stress hormone cortisol, two factors that are known to increase appetite and cause weight gain.Elevated stress response is associated with numerous health risks including heart disease, diabetes, reduced immune function, cognitive impairment and the accumulation of dangerous abdominal fat.
Think about the last time you dieted. Were you relaxed and happy or agitated, stressed and depressed? Better yet, ask a friend or mate what it was like to be around you the last time you dieted.
5. Diets trigger food obsession
Dieting activates intense 24/7 hunger. Because your body and brain are constantly screaming for calories to fuel ALL your activities of daily living — thinking, moving, working etc — you can’t stop fixating on food. And the food preoccupation doesn’t go away unless you eat. When you can’t stand it any longer and break your diet you binge, right? Even if you lost a little on the diet it’s all gone now, another waste of time, energy and suffering. Starting to see a pattern here?
6. Diets induce self-loathing and destroy your self-esteem
When you diet you judge yourself by the numbers — how many calories you’ve eaten, how many calories you’ve burned, how much you weigh and how many “good” or “bad” foods you’ve consumed. When the scale doesn’t budge or you’ve had a “bad” diet day you blame yourself, your lack of discipline, your personal weakness, and self-esteem suffers. Essentially you’re blaming you for not being able to force yourself to starve even though your body is trying to make you eat. How crazy is that?
When you accept your body and self as they are, eat for fun and health, dumping diets, denial and desperation, then I can help you apply positive weight management tools and techniques. This will open the door for you to experience true, permanent, transformation of body, mind and spirit. (Or you could just keep dieting and remain unhappy, unhealthy and unfulfilled, but please remember your choice.)
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