Personal Growth

Let’s Talk About Dieting

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 Petr Kratochvil
Courtesy of Petr Kratochvil

“I stopped dieting when I figured out that you just have to eat regularly and properly within moderation,” wrote Now magazine, quoting Jennifer Aniston. “The fads are too much.”

Seeing ads and articles promoting popular “fad” diets in the attempt to try and find facts and figures about the diet industry only proves the point that there are a lot of people out there spending money on quick fixes instead of changing their lifestyle. And the $40 million a year going into the pockets of the diet industry doesn’t help the argument in favor of crash diets.

It has been brought to my attention that today is International No Diet Day, a day that has been around since 1992, but the fact that this observance even has to exist is troubling.  International No Diet Day is “dedicated to promoting a healthy life style with a focus on health at any size and in raising awareness of the potential dangers of dieting and the unlikelihood of success.” According to the Institute of Medicine “those who complete weight loss programs lose approximately 10 percent of their body weight only to regain two-thirds within a year and almost all of it within five years.”

Short term fad diets promise fast results but let down dieters when the temporary quick fix is over. It’s incredibly unhealthy, and it helps no one but the people marketing these crack-pot products in the stores. It’s troubling to think about, but there are many people still out there that have a weird relationship with food.

Every year there’s a new diet trend that sweeps the “health” news world that encourages eliminating certain foods high in nutritional value and choosing low-carb, low-fat, or low-calorie options on a strict plan. The problem with the “can have” and “can’t have” diets is that people crave what they can’t have, and realize the diet doesn’t work for them. Losing the concept that a diet is a temporary thing one must endure to lose so much weight in a specified period of time is essential to remaining healthy. What does work, however, are long term healthy lifestyle changes that you can actually stick to. It isn’t about a number on the scale but rather about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity.

If we change our terrible attitude toward food, and just start a living healthy life that works with you and your own body instead of worrying about being a certain weight or looking a certain way, we can focus on solving the other problems that may be affecting your happiness. Constantly obsessing over weight is distracting us from living our lives, but thinking positively and being comfortable and healthy in your own skin can help counteract that flood of negative thoughts we receive from the added pressures of a society with distorted body-image issues.

“You can never, ever, use weight loss to solve problems that are not related to your weight.  At your goal weight or not, you still have to live with yourself and deal with your problems.  You will still have the same husband, the same job, the same kids, and the same life.  Losing weight is not a cure for life.”  ~Phillip C. McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom, 2003.

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