Why are diet plans for weight loss so popular even though they rarely work?
Why are Americans willing to give more than $40B of their hard earned money to the diet and weight loss industry when the statistics show that the pounds lost will be back before they know it?
Did you know that results of a 2006 study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, showed that most people who participate in diet plans for weight-loss "regain about one-third of the weight lost during the next year and are typically back to baseline in three to five years?"
Why is everyone so enamored of the latest diet fad - be it low fat, low carb, high protein, raw food or HCG?
How many diet books and plans for weight loss have you been sucked into during your life?
It would be sobering to see all the money that I've spent on diets, books, programs and exercise plans through the decades stacked up right here before me.
I wish I knew then what I know now.
I would have invested the money in things to make me happy and bring me pleasure instead. (How easy it is to connect the dots when looking back!)
Diet plans are popular because everyone wanting to lose weight believes that the weight is the source of their dissatisfaction and thinks there is a miracle, a silver bullet, that will help them lose weight quickly and alleviate their pain and suffering so they can live the life of their dreams.
Everyone who has ever lost weight has had to face the fact that only one thing changes when you lose weight - the number on the scale. You are still the same person with the same job, home, friends, beliefs and insecurities.
And because most programs and diet plans for weight loss work in the short term for at least some people, they gain credibility and popularity.
The Problem with Diet Plans for Weight Loss
But, here's the big problem...
Diets are something you go on and go off. Most of them work while you are on them, but are not designed to be continued for a lifetime.
We are dazzled by these diet gimmicks, each offering a one-size-fits-all approach designed to hook you into believing you can somehow change your body without considering your lifestyle, your personality, you beliefs, your job, where you live and your physical makeup.
You look in the mirror and decide you need to lose weight for your upcoming vacation or class reunion or to make your ex jealous.
As soon as the event is behind you, you give up the diet plan and settle back into your old familiar eating and lifestyle patterns.
And like a boomerang, before you know it, the pounds are back.
Fad diets offer short term solutions at best and can do metabolic damage at worst.
You go on them. You go off them.
And because these diets are fads and gimmicks that cannot be sustained, you end up jumping from last season's diet to the next latest greatest weight loss solution and then to the next.
Diet. Lose Weight. Gain Weight. Repeat.
You know the definition of insanity, right? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result!
How many times do we have to watch Oprah lose and then gain back the weight?
How many times to we have to lose and then gain back the weight?
A Better, Saner, More Fun Alternative to Diet Plans
What's the solution?
Stop Dieting. Just say NO to the next crazy diet fad plan.
Call a truce with yourself.
Stop beating yourself up.
Try something different, something radical.
What do you have to lose?
You can start to change your life and your relationship with food as soon as your next meal without a formal diet plan or program.
Try this. Before grabbing that muffin or bagel or bag of chips take a couple of deep breaths and ask yourself…
- How am I feeling?
- What do I need?
- Am I hungry?
- What am I really hungry for?
- What do I really want?
- What choice is best for me in this moment?
- Am I trying to meet other needs/desires through food and/or dieting?
If you determine that you are truly hungry and really want the muffin and feel like the muffin is the best choice for your body, than by all means eat the muffin.
Savor it. Enjoy it. Eat it with gusto.
And then get on with your life.
But, if you are stressed, or tired, or sad, or depressed, or overwhelmed or scared, or bored, or the muffin just happens to be staring at you from the break room counter, step away from it and give yourself permission to seek what you truly desire.
You deserve it.
You really really do.
It’s all up to you.
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