Every diet has an end and most of the time it ends with weight gain, not weight loss. Most individuals who lose weight end up gaining it back and then some.
Dieting has become the norm in our society, yet according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 69.0% of adults age 20 years and over are overweight or obese. Thus, diets are not working and they are not helping Americans lose weight, become healthier, and reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases.
Dieting is a quick fix to an issue that didn’t have a quick onset. Most weight gain is due to years of overeating food with little to no nutritional benefits. If the weight took years to put on, how does one expect to lose that weight in one month, as some diets suggest?
Diets are often perceived of as a punishment and sometimes can actually deprive the body of nutrients the body needs to function. Following a diet doesn’t work long term. Sooner or later the foods you deprived yourself of come back into your life and you over-eat because you have been deprived of them for so long.
The key lies in moderation. Enjoy sweets on special occasions, not at every meal or even every day. This allows one to indulge without completely getting off track. Savor every bite of the treat rather than mindlessly scarfing down two cups of ice cream.
Americans’ mindsets needs to shift from dieting to making lifestyle changes. Think of food as the fuel the body needs to perform. Learn to listen to your bodies and eat when you are hungry – not bored; eat until you are satisfied and not stuffed. These are all mentalities that push dieting away and allow ourselves to focus on an overall healthy lifestyle.
Amy Goblirsch is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with Sodexo at SCSU