We Can’t Handle The Truth

Does this describe you: Your life is good in so many arenas – except your weight. You’ve worked really hard to manage your weight over the years. You’ve done everything you could possibly do. You have tried every diet, read every diet book and taken every diet pill. You’ve stuck to exercise programmes for days, weeks, even months (You’ve bought every piece of workout equipment!) and still you are filled with frustration and self-loathing about your weight.  Do you feel you can’t trust your body anymore? Do you feel overwhelmed when you think about the difference between what you weigh and what you would like to weigh? Do you feel shame about your weight, eating or secret behaviors?  The myth our culture perpetuates is that dieting is good for you. But the truth may be a little harder to handle.

Here are 5 facts about your weight and dieting that your doctor, dietitian or weight loss counselor may not have told you:

Fact 1:  Weight is a biologically driven imperative, like height and shoe size.  Instead of weight acceptance, our culture has created the myth(to the tune of a 60 billion dollar a year diet industry in the US alone) that losing weight, dieting and restricting your food will help you feel better and stay healthy. A very small minority of dieters (clue: most of them are mathematicians or engineers) will keep weight off long term but for the 98% majority, dieting is ineffective and there is growing evidence that it is actually damaging.  In fact, weight cycling is the most common result of engaging in conventional dieting practices. (1)

Fact 2: Weight focus is not only ineffective at producing thinner, healthier bodies, but it may also have unintended consequences, contributing to food and body preoccupation, repeated cycles of weight loss and regain, distraction from other personal health goals, reduced self-esteem, eating disorders, other health problems and weight stigmatization and discrimination. (1) Read more about the weight science here

Fact 3:  The enticing thing about diets is that they DO help you to lose weight over the short time. And then you get HUNGRY. Responses to this post-diet hunger will typically fall into two categories: over-eating perpetuating the diet-binge cycle or even worse, completely ignoring hunger, which leads to the starvation syndrome.

Fact 4:  Dieting disconnects you from your APPETITE.   Your appetite keeps you connected to a healthy body, mind and spirit – without which your natural and healthy weight will be affected. Most people who diet are aware of a slower metabolism and compromised digestion as a result of dieting. This can trigger the cyclical dieter’s weight ‘creep’ – e.g. getting a little bit heavier each time you come off a diet. But there are negative mental, emotional and spiritual effects, too.

Fact 5: Everyone who diets does so because they are feeling bad or unhappy with themselves in some way. Apart from health concerns, many people diet because they do not believe they can be happy unless they lose weight.

Bottom Line? If you keep focusing on your weight and dieting you’ll keep getting the same results.

Fortunately, there is another way! Progress will come when you can shift the focus away from weight and dieting. Find Your Happetite will help you reconnect with your appetite, let go of your preoccupation with food, eating and weight and find that elusive happiness. Find out more and download your free chapter at www.findyourhappetite.com

1. Bacon L, Aphramor L: Weight science: evaluating the evidence for a paradigm shift. 2011 Nut Journal 10:9.