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Why Dieting Doesn't Work

Aug 17, 2007
What do you do when you realize you need to lose a few pounds? You go on a diet, naturally. But does it work? Actually, considering the number of overweight people who are on diets at any given time, one would have to conclude that diets really don't work for most people. They often work for a while. If they didn't work at all, nobody would ever go on one! But where they fail is when the dieter's consistency and motivation play out.

Everyone has heard of weird diets like the cabbage soup diet or the grapefruit diet. You probably know people who claim to have lost weight on them. The diet hype usually states that it works by special food combinations which spark your metabolism. The raw truth is that these diets are generally just low calorie diets in disguise. Eating fewer calories than you burn will result in weight loss, so for a while, these weird diets will work.

The problem comes when you've been eating nothing but cabbage soup or grapefruits for five or six days and you're sick to death of them! Sticking with a limited diet like these is extremely difficult, and not even smart when it comes to nutrition. Also, eating is an important part of our culture and these diets leave you unable to enjoy a meal with a friend.

You probably also know overweight people who extol the benefits of a low carb diet and say it really works. Well, if so, what happened? Why are they overweight again? Or if they are bragging on someone they know who lost weight that way, why haven't they followed their friend's example and acquired permanent weight loss?

The reason is that low carb diets get old, too. They ignore the ebb and flow of real life, the family meat and potatoes dinners you have when you get together with Aunt Ethyl, and the craving you occasionally get to indulge in a piece of cheesecake. They expect you to sustain yourself on meat, meat, meat, with a cup of salad on the side. Have you ever measured out a cup of salad? It's not very much!

Dieting doesn't work because it doesn't become a natural part of your lifestyle. A nutritious, well-chosen food-lifestyle can work and net permanent weight loss, however. Technically, this is by definition a "diet." The difference is that diets carry a temporary mindset in many cases. "I'll get this weight off, and then I'll go back to normal." If you think this way, you may lose some weight all right, but when you go "back to normal," your weight is likely to go back to normal, too!

The diet that will work for you is to reduce your portion sizes, get more exercise, and make healthy food choices most of the time. Most of the time means eighty percent of the time you are choosing grilled chicken, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and similar foods. You are simultaneously avoiding fatty main dishes like Alfredo and sweet treats like pie and cake. Eat like this for a lifetime, and you'll be on that elusive diet that brings lasting weight loss and good health!
About the Author
Terence Young - For more personal growth articles visit: http://www.personalgrowthunlimited.com
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