Anyone who has been on a diet knows that amazing feeling when your clothes start fitting better and the number on the scale keeps dropping. Most people can also identify with the feeling of in a couple months eating one cookie turns into five cookies, a slice of bread becomes three slathered with butter. Then it starts to happen: your clothes start feeling snugger, your scale keeps climbing and you realize you gained the weight back. There is one reason for this, diets DO NOT work!
UCLA researchers analyzed 31 diet studies, they concluded that people could lose 5-10% of their total body weight but the majority of them put it all back on and 2/3 of them gained back even more. The question is why does this happen- there are so many reasons people have to eat emotionally. This is the biggest reason in my opinion- to not eat mindfully. It has happened to all of us. You sit down with a bag of Doritos to your favorite TV show for one hour and all of a sudden the bag is gone and you’re left with cheesy fingers. As a chiropractor I often get adults that say I never run and went out and ran 5 miles yesterday, and now I have lower back pain or a sprained ankle (let alone sore muscles). These are my weekend warriors, this is another reason people tend to not maintain a healthy weight.
These issues can be easily solved by people just doing what we know we all need to do. We are all aware that a healthy lifestyle includes a proper eating plan and a regular fitness routine. In our chiropractic philosophy we believe that stress is the root of all disease. There are different types of stress- physical, emotional or chemical stressors are in our lives every day. The way a person manifests their stress is important for their health. Some people deal with emotional stresses by eating poorly. I know when I have a bad day I am so much more likely to grab a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate cake rather than heading to the gym. It takes discipline and mindfulness to truly achieve health and to choose to head to the gym rather than the wine and cake.
The common way our society loses weight right now is to get a prescribed eating plan to reach your weight loss goal then the diet ends and the weight gets put back on. This is a vicious cycle I am passionate to help stop! I believe an individual needs to change behaviors to be truly successful. It is not just an eating plan and singing up for a 5k. Those are AMAZING first steps but it is really the maintenance of keeping the weight off that is what counts. If you desire to be at a healthy weight and have blood markers that are in range then you need to ditch the word diet and learn to make healthy changes that can sustain you for the long haul.
What diets have you tried and what would you contribute your success or demise to? Can you relate to emotional eating? We'd like to hear from you in the comments below.