Do Diets Work?

Jennifer Bonn
Photo byDan Gold/Unsplash

We all have a rough idea of what we should eat as a healthy, balanced diet, but it isn’t always that easy to do. When we have a hectic lifestyle that may include a full-time job, children, school, and activities grabbing fast, easy-to-eat food sometimes takes the place of sitting down with a healthy meal. If eating healthy wasn’t enough of a challenge we are supposed to find time to exercise. Before we know it the numbers on the scale have risen too high, our clothes don’t fit, and we know it’s time for a change.

When this happens many of us turn to diets because we want the weight gone as soon as possible. We are looking for a quick fix, but do diets work?

Mercy Cedar Rapids Food and nutrition services says, “Diets are not associated with long-term weight loss moreover diets create a restrictive, controlling relationship with food. Those who attempt to manage their weight through restriction and deprivation often discover that these tactics may worsen a weight problem. Ditch dieting for an intuitive eating approach.”

They describe an intuitive eating approach as eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. You eat for physical not emotional reasons.

Robert H. Schmerling, MD. says “Talk to your doctor, a nutritionist, and perhaps a health coach. Review this study with them and, together, decide on dietary and other lifestyle changes that appeal to you. Then stick with them. Remember, you're most likely to stick with lifestyle changes you actually like.”

Charlotte Markey writes in Scientific American, “Simple, slow, and steady: When setting a weight loss goal, it is natural to want to accomplish it immediately. Yesterday! But to maintain a more svelte figure, you need to make gradual, sustainable changes to your diet: for example, drinking less alcohol and juice, substituting diet soda or seltzer for regular soda, and eating dessert on four nights a week instead of seven. Making even small changes such as these may sound like a “diet,” which I have told you to avoid, but it is not, for one important reason: this slow, steady approach allows you to adjust to a new routine at your own pace without the intense effort and denial that typical diet plans require. Most people trying to lose five to 50 pounds will benefit from this slow-to-moderate approach to weight loss, but it is important to note that individuals whose health is at serious risk because of obesity will likely need more drastic measures and should consult a physician.”

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

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