10 COMPELLING Reasons to Stop Dieting!

Do you have a history of "yo-yo" dieting?  Are you tired of being a slave to thoughts about food, to your negative body image or to your embarrassment, discomfort or shame? If you have a history of dieting and are fed up with the results - READ ON!

Here are eight solid reasons to finally give up on dieting for good:

Diets Don't Work!:  An article in the Journal of Obesity estimates that about only 20% of diet study participants maintained their weight loss after one year and even fewer people did so after two.  So weight loss from dieting proves that it isn't sustainable.

Your Net May Be a Gain, NOT a Loss:  Over time, restrictive eating can lead to a slowing in metabolism.  When you begin to slowly increase intake over time, your body burns it less efficiently, storing more and more over time.  Also, restricted intake can lead to hunger which can lead to overeating.

Dieting is a Full-Time Job:  It takes all of your focus and determination.  Did you ever try focusing on something else when you are underfed and undernourished.  Dieting takes a lot of physical and mental energy - staving off cravings, preparing food intake and avoiding triggers is time-consuming and energy-draining.

There are Many Negative Consequences:  Dieting causes a myriad of emotional and physical side-effects such as hunger, irritability, jealousy, anger and lack of energy.  You may also experience guilt and shame related to your cravings, the speed of your weight loss or your body image.

You May Be Increasing your Cravings!:  Deprivation is the number one reason why dieters overeat.  If you cut out food groups and create extreme expectations for yourself, you are more likely to crave whatever is on your NO list.  Also, restricted eating doesn't allow you the opportunity to practice moderation and tolerance.  

The Focus on Weight and Weight Loss is One-track Minded:  What about learning why you overeat or make unhealthy food choices in the first place?  Dieting doesn't address underlying triggers or emotional reasons that food might be a primary coping skill for you.  Also, dieting does not allow you to read your hunger cues or learn to eat intuitively. True, you might lose weight in the short run, but what have you learned for the long term?

Diets can impede a healthy social life:  Did you ever go out for dinner when you are on a diet and no one else is?  How does that feel?  Dieting can cause an emotional separation between you and other people who are not following a restrictive plan and who can enjoy what they are eating more freely.  Also, dieting might cause feelings of envy in you.  Your friends are enjoying dessert and it isn't on your plan!

Diets Bypass Your Body's Own Individual Needs:  There is no method of weight loss and healthy eating that is effective for everyone.  Diets do not take into account your body's physical needs or the role that food and eating plays in your life.  Perhaps you are a person that requires more intake in order to feel nourished and energetic.

The best thing you can do for yourself and your body is learn about your own person fuel intake needs and distinguish between nourishment and enjoyment foods.  A good rule of thumb is the 90/10 rule - make 90% of your daily intake meet your nutritional requirements.  Choose foods that are produced in the ground or on the earth - not in a packaging plant.  The other 10% of your daily intake can be enjoyment foods that satisfy your emotional or social needs and help keep cravings and that dreaded deprivation feeling at bay.

Happy Eating!


Danna Markson, LCSW