Imagine this scenario: You’re interested in a treatment for wrinkles. The professional you’re discussing with tells you the upsides: It’s straightforward and works quickly. Within weeks you’ll lose a decade from your face. The fast results will make you feel happy and proud and make you want to continue.
So, you ask, what are the downsides?
Where to begin? It’s relatively uncomfortable while you’re in the treatment phase, but the joy you feel from the results may numb your discomfort. You’ll likely have to limit your social activities and possibly other activities that bring you happiness. Your world will revolve around the treatment.
Wow. Intense. How long do the results last?
Great question. Most people who get the treatment either go back to their original state or have more wrinkles within a year, even if they don’t participate in behaviors that are known to cause the appearance of skin-aging. If they continue to get treatments, each successive treatment is less effective and more uncomfortable. Within a 5 year period, most people will have more wrinkles compared to baseline than if they hadn’t pursued the treatment at all.
This scenario is ridiculous. Who would sign on to a treatment with such horrendous results? And yet, if you substitute “wrinkles” for “weight loss” and “treatment” for “diet”, this story is real, and millions of people sign on everyday.
And yet, if you substitute “wrinkles” for “weight loss” and “treatment” for “diet”, this story is real, and millions of people sign on everyday.
Diets are a “treatment” that nearly guarantee opposite results from intended body size reduction. After a quick hit of weight loss, the weight comes back (and usually more). And because of that quick hit, people think: it worked! But I must have done something wrong because it stopped working, so maybe I should try again?
And the craziest part? Despite what many would like to believe, the weight doesn’t come back because the dieter is ripping through their pantry, eating everything in site (i.e. a gluttonous monster).
In fact, research supports that people in small and large bodies eat roughly similar calories. The weight comes back because the body has perceived starvation, and it becomes biologically primed, through hormonal and psychological systems, to store fat. This message is not meant to be discouraging but to neutralize the morality around weight loss.
The person who pursues the diet is hopeful, optimistic – maybe even desperate – to not be perceived as this gluttonous monster (by themselves or our culture). But in fact, the problem is not the dieter but the diet itself – the “treatment” – that delivers negative results.
It’s time for a different approach. Are you ready to discover a sustainable way of eating that works for your body, lifestyle, and wellness goals? Feel free to reach out or apply for personalized nutrition counseling today.