Sunday, April 12, 2015

People Need To Stop Dieting Now

By Joanna Walsh

Going on diets often just sets you up for failure. Research has shown that after losing weight on a diet, most people simply put it back on again. In fact, they often pick up more than they lost in the first place. We need to stop dieting now. We lose sight of the fact that just restricting food intake does not address many other factors related to weight, both physical and psychological.

Many of us equate the word diet with a short-term period of deprivation. We repeatedly put ourselves on diets but find that they are not sustainable in the long term. However, we do not seem to learn from the experience and tend to fall for the next great diet that people are promoting. For most of us, following a particular diet long term without any cheating is just not possible. Instead, changes have to take place in the way we think and our lifestyle that can realistically be sustained.

When calories are reduced, the human body responds by slowing down metabolism. This is because it is designed for survival, even under the harshest of conditions. A really drastic diet can trigger off all kinds of symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, irritability and physical and mental fatigue. When the body does not receive what it needs, health is compromised.

Feeling hungry all the time is a sure sign that a diet will not last. When this is the case, the body tries to conserve energy and muscle loss takes place. Foods high in lean protein like eggs, fish and chicken help one to feel full for longer and remain healthy, despite losing weight. Fiber and good fats such as those found in seeds, nuts and some oils have the same effect.

Human beings have a strong emotional attachment to food. We associate it with family gatherings and celebrating. Eating brings comfort when we are afraid, angry or sad. The strong emotions it evokes is often one of the biggest barriers to weight loss. It is difficult to deal with and can trip us up time and time again. When we face an emotional crisis, the diet often goes out of the window.

Social pressures are another factor that affect weight loss. When we are with friends or family, we may feel pressure to indulge. It takes commitment to keep eating healthily despite such pressure. Diets are often abandoned in such social situations.

Binge eating and cheating are often a result of feeling deprived. To avoid such feelings it is important to be able to look forward to certain indulgences. It is easy to feel once one has totally blown a diet that it is better to drop it altogether. However, if certain treats, such as dark chocolate, are planned, this can prevent going on a binge and enable one to continue eating healthily.

Sustainable weight loss does not come from going on any fad diet. It usually comes in the form of changes in thought patterns and lifestyle changes that can be maintained in the long term. These changes require commitment but give results that are far better than continually going on one diet or another.

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