Turn on the TV. Listen to the radio. Go on the internet or social media. If you did any of these you will find advertisements and information about the next type of diet. You may even find the next “diet to end all diets.” A study examining weight gain of 4,900 subjects found that they gained an average of 2 – 2.5 lb per year from ages 24 to 34. (1) More surprising then that is that only 7.5% of women and 3.8% of men lost weight over the period. (1) This is why when a client asks my thoughts on a particular diet I always have the same response. I am not a fan of diets or the word diet. Let me tell you why.
Diet vs. Lifestyle
The first question I ask my client is if the diet is sustainable. Can you follow that diet with all of it’s eating habits for the rest of your life? If the answer is no, then you should think about how successful you will be. If you followed a specific diet for 2 weeks or 30 days, what happens on week 3 or the 31st day? Did you learn anything? Did you take any specific steps that will help you balance your lifestyle. Researchers at the University of Helsinki concluded that, “People try to prevent and manage excess weight and obesity by dieting and skipping meals. In the long term, such approaches seem to actually accelerate getting fatter, rather than prevent it.” (1) It is possible that by trying varying diet programs and you could develop poor eating habits in general complicating your future success.
Changing the Lifestyle of Eating
A solid plan of exercise and healthy eating habits are essential for reaching your goals. Most times all of the work done in the gym or exercising is negated by poor eating habits. We are inundated with infomercials and advice from Instagram and social media about what diet you should follow to burn fat or flatten your stomach. According to this current research, people are more successful at weight management by refraining from dieting and observing regular eating habits. The research findings prove that instead of focusing on losing weight, it is more important to focus on eating regular meals.
They conclude by stating that regular and sufficient meals support the natural biological functions of the body, and help in managing one’s eating habits and weight management in the long term.