Pardon me for being blunt, but here goes: Picking another diet for a New Year’s Resolution in 2017 is dumb, dangerous, and damaging. We didn’t know this in the 1970’s when we got excited about our first diet – but we know it now. This isn’t theoretical; the evidence is irrefutable.
Let’s look at a few of the many well-researched reasons diets don’t work:
1. Diets backfire. Most dieters end up actually gaining weight over their diet career – not losing. Restrictive dieting has a 98-99% failure rate.
2. Diets cause cravings. When you’re dieting, your brain and body work together to force you to feed yourself enough. Eating too little always leads to eating too much, eventually.
3. Diets crush self-confidence. The dieting industry says all you need to be thinner is enough will-power. This is simply not true. Human beings do have willpower, but it doesn’t apply to primary needs like food, water, sleep and air. Try using your willpower to hold your breath for two minutes or to stay up three nights in a row.
4. Diets cause guilt. Once food is (falsely) declared a good or bad substance, we begin to believe we are a good or bad person according to what we eat. Reality check: you are not a bad person if you eat a Christmas cookie. Making food a moral issue causes our relationship with it to become strained and emotionally charged.
5. Diets wreck metabolism. Restrictive dieting actually diminishes your ability to lose weight by slowing your metabolism. The more you starve yourself the harder your body fights to keep each pound.
6. Diets disconnect us from ourselves and our bodies. Dieting requires you to ignore your natural hunger signals, instincts, and appetite. You and your body are born to work well together, but years of dieting have eroded our connection to our invaluable body wisdom.
7. Diets side-track us from Real Life. Dieting takes a lot of energy and effort! We become scale-focused and food-obsessed. We can unwittingly put life ON HOLD until after we “lose this weight”.
There are many other reasons dieting is self-sabotaging. Continuing to attempt it is putting off the real life-changing work each of us must and can do: the work of recovering the intuitive, peaceful connection with our body we were born to enjoy.
Give yourself the gift of freedom in 2017…
You and your body and your food really can be friends again – and the payoff will last a lifetime.