1. Diets don’t produce sustainable results.
A review published in the Journal of Obesity estimated that at best, only 20% of participants maintain weight loss at one year, and the percentage of those maintaining weight loss decreases further by the two-year follow up….
2. You may gain more than you lost.
There is significant evidence that a restrictive, weight-focused approach is ineffective at producing sustainable changes in weight or health. In a review of 31 long term studies on dieting, Medicare’s Search for Effective Obesity Treatments: Diets Are Not the Answer,…They found that the majority of individuals are unable to maintain weight loss over the long term and one-third to two-thirds of dieters regain more weight than they lost.
3. Diets decrease your metabolism and increase hunger.
4. Metabolic adaptation persists over time.
In a recently published study of The Biggest Loser contestants, their resting metabolic rate was decreased by an average of 610 kcal/day at the end of the competition! Their resting metabolic rate was an average of 704kcal/day below baseline six years later! Thirteen of the fourteen participants in the study had regained the majority of the weight they had lost.
5. Diets require an unsustainable amount of time and energy.
Restrictive eating behaviors require a significant, and for most people, unsustainable amount of time, energy, and willpower—already in short supply for most people… In the Restrictive Eating Cycle, eating leads to conflict and guilt, rather than pleasure and satisfaction that are essential for sustainable changes to one’s eating.
6. Diets produce counterproductive psychological consequences.
Studies have shown that food restriction actually results in counterproductive psychological consequences such as preoccupation with food and eating, distractibility, increased emotional responsiveness, dysphoria, increased eating in the absence of hunger, and bingeing….
7. Diets are an outside-in approach.
Diets are based on the latest external authority’s rules about when, what, and how much to eat…. This teaches dieters to disregard their own internal authority and further disconnects them from their own body’s innate cues of hunger and satiety, moving them further from their ability to know what their body needs.
8. Diets may increase cravings, guilt, and overeating.
Most diets are based on limiting various foods in one way or another…. When these desirable foods are restricted, feelings of deprivation increase, potentially leading to stronger cravings. When one finally gives in to these powerful cravings, they feel guilty and out of control. They may give up the diet and even binge on the foods they’ve been missing. This constant struggle leads to an endless eat-repent-repeat cycle and a painful love-hate relationship with food….
Diets don’t really address the reasons why most people overeat in the first place…. Consequently, when the diet is over, the underlying triggers for eating haven’t changed so the previous eating habits resume.
10. The focus on weight and weight loss may result in weight stigma.
…Weight stigma is associated with diminished health and well-being in myriad ways, including increased caloric consumption, diminished exercise, binge eating behaviors, low self-esteem, depression, and decreased self-rated health.