Before we start, I am in no way encouraging dieting, but am aware that most people are following one, thinking of following one, or have followed one at some point in their lives.
Why I don’t encourage diets
Simply put, we don’t think they work. Sure, you may know someone that lost a significant amount of weight (LONG-TERM) or have done so yourself. Unfortunately, science and most people’s experiences would disagree.
For example, in a large study named the “Look ahead trial” people were placed into groups, one being the experiment group, which entailed following a 1200 calories per day diet while being followed by psychologists, dietitians, and exercise specialists. What they study showed is that participants lost about 6% after 8 years, which is about 6 lbs. All that work for 6 lousy lbs!!! Not only that, but the study was stopped earlier because they didn’t see any positive changes. Other studies show similar results. Is it worth it?
Let me work it
I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it
Does this mean you can’t lose more than that? No. But I can’t guarantee I can help you do that. I wish I had better news. I wish I had the miracle cure. I can understand it’s easier to change ourselves than to change our environment. It’s like someone wanting to change their name so they get fewer comments.
Benefits of dieting
Chances are you’ve tried a low-carb diet, high-protein diet, low carb and high protein, high-protein and high-chocolate diet (or you wish you did), different meal timing, etc.
Yes, I know I just said that diet’s rarely work long-term, but I think we need to start looking at the positives here so that we don’t beat ourselves up if we do decide to follow one, especially since I don’t see this trend ending time soon (thank you diet culture!). So what if we switch our perspective and look at what diets teach us (again, not encouraging it, rather simply trying to put a positive spin on it)? Here are some ways dieting can be beneficial:
- You tried new foods and recipes – Whether it was paleo, keto, or vegan, chances are you had to prepare more homemade meals and discovered new cuisines that you and your family can enjoy.
- You found an eating schedule that works with your work/life routine – This is especially true with intermittent fasting. Maybe this new eating schedule works better with your routine? Or maybe not eating so late improved some digestion issues?
- You have a better idea of food intolerance (if any) – If you ever had to limit foods and then reintroduce them (you know, because you can’t restrict for ever), you may have noticed changes in your digestion (note that overeating a certain food or eating too quickly can also cause bloating, gas, nausea, etc., so please don’t confuse an intolerance with symptoms of overeating).
Are there any other benefits that I may have missed? Don’t be shy to comment!
More more info about the science behind diets: