intuitive eating counseling austin online

7 Reasons Not to Diet

There are more than enough reasons to ditch your diet and to start eating intuitively instead. Here are a just a few…

1) Diets don’t work for 98-99% of dieters which means only 1-2 people out of every 100 dieters will keep the weight they lose off. Most dieters regain almost all of what they lose (if they lose at all) and many regain even more weight.  In fact,  your odds of being fatter 6 months from now if you go on a diet today are greater than if you don’t go on a diet.

2) Diets set dieters up for binges. Restrictive diets make for deprived dieters. Deprived dieters are more prone to binge on foods that are restricted in their diet, whether that be sugar, carbs or fats. Binges make these now-stuffed-dieters feel guilty and ashamed and even more committed to start another diet, starting the vicious dieting cycle over again. (You know the drill!)

3) Dieting can be very bad for your health. Dieting in general has been linked to an increase in high blood pressure,  type-2 diabetes and increased cortisol levels (the “stress hormone”).   More intense dieting can increase hormones such as insulin and estrogen causing you to put on weight around your middle, which research has linked to insulin resistance and heart disease. Yo-yo dieting (losing and then regaining weight over and over again) has been shown to increase obesity, shorten life expectancy and lead to depressive disorders related to successive failures.

Additionally, in order to cause weight loss, diets must restrict energy (calories) which can decrease immune system function. Many diets also restrict at least one food group which can result in a loss of important vitamins and minerals. Low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets may increase your risk of heart disease and cancer, in addition to causing problems such as dehydration,  headaches and constipation. And finally, low-fat diets can raise triglycerides and lower HDL (good) cholesterol and testosterone.

4) Dieting can lead to obsessive thoughts about food and body image, disordered eating and even full-blown eating disorders. One particularly sad study followed young dieters over the course of a decade and found that the younger they started dieting, the more prone they were as adults to engage in self-harming behaviors like alcohol abuse and self-induced vomiting.

5) Diets make you feel bad. In order to lose weight even temporarily,  a diet must restrict calories so that your body burns more calories than you consume.  When you eat fewer calories than your body needs,  you don’t feel your best.  Common side effects of dieting include lethargy, sleepiness, physical weakness, headaches, leg cramps, depression and anxiety.

6)  Diets teach you to ignore your body’s natural signals of hunger and fullness, overriding your innate ability to know when to eat and when to stop eating. Following a diet means you aren’t learning how to eat on your own so if you go on a diet to lose weight, you will need to stay on a diet to maintain your weight loss. Translation: you can never stop dieting once you start (without regaining).

7) Every time you lose weight and regain it, the regained weight is increasingly difficult to lose. The body remembers the effects of deprivation caused by the succession of diets over the years, and stores more in reserve in preparation for future diets. Studies show that when dieters lose weight and then regain the same weight, they end up with more body fat and less muscle than when they started.

So how do you manage your weight without a diet?

By learning to eat intuitively…. rejecting the diet mentality, learning to honor your hunger (and fullness) and eating what is physically satisfying to you. Learn more by reading through more of our blog articles l and then contact us to discuss setting up an initial coaching consultation.