Being that today is April 1st- April Fool’s Day- it seems fitting that I talk about ways in which women (and men) have been fooled. Don’t worry- I am not the person pulling the pranks– it’s doctors, the media, photographers, etc.
We are tricked into thinking that diets actually help with weight loss. We are tricked into thinking that it’s super easy to just “bounce back” from pregnancy. We are tricked into thinking that models have flawless skin and thigh gaps.
Thankfully, there has been an awareness recently. More and more articles are popping up about what is being portrayed to women. Our eyes are being opened.
However, I want to zero in on the huge Diet Industry and they way they capitalize on women’s insecurities. We may know in our head that diets don’t work. We may have tried 50 different diets and have gained the weight back– yet we still go back to the familiarity of a 1200 calorie diet, gross shakes, and constant weighing. Why?? We feel desperate and don’t think there is any other answer.
Did you know? 108 million people are on diets in a given year – with 4-5 attempts per year. (Source)
Studies show that only 3-5% of those who go on a diet actually keep the weight off. My guess is they are still starving themselves.
Why is the percentage so small? The answer may surprise you. Please know: It’s NOT your fault. We are NOT gaining the weight back due to lack of will power. We are NOT gaining it back because of a “problem” with food. We are gaining it back because our body was just not meant to lose large amounts of weight for a long period of time! We’ve been duped by the Diet Industry!
I am still learning about all of the science behind this as I read the book “Health At Every Size” by Linda Bacon. I am already a full supporter of this philosophy. Read more about it here. It’s a philosophy that is weight neutral. We can be larger and fit or skinny and unhealthy.
http://www.freedigitalphots.net/source Grant Cochrane
Here are some ways that the Diet Industry tries to trick us:
1. “Dieting is easy.” There is nothing “easy” about restricting our caloric intake, unless you are one of those rare, super disciplined people. However, most gain their weight back because they start to feel too hungry (a normal response) which then could trigger a binge.
2. “Dieting is sustainable.” If 97% of those who diet gain their weight back within a year, then clearly dieting does not last. I just don’t see how consuming 1200 calories a day is sustainable. Our bodies are meant to hold onto fat if seems to be starving. This worked in the cave man days. But we have not evolved past this point to be able to handle losing large amounts of weight without messing up our system.
3. “Dieting is pleasurable.” Sure, healthy food tastes great. We can certainly find delicious salads, or yummy ways to cook vegetables, but many times people will think that they have to eat food that they don’t care for, in order to lose weight or just because whoever expert they are following told them to eat it. We should feel a sense of pleasure when we eat. We also tend to feel guilty when dieting and happen to eat something on our “bad” list. This is no way to live.
4. “Dieting will help you to get to the root of your emotional problems with eating.” Actually, diets don’t really claim this but many of us think this way. We think that healthy eating will solve all of our problems. This is another reason why there are so many yo-yo dieters. They never took the time to dig into their own relationship with food; why they crave certain foods or what causes them to have those binge episodes. Good health is not just about what we eat, but also learning to deal with our stress and emotions, as well as how we feel about ourselves and our body.
5. “Dieting is healthy.” Sure, eating fruits and vegetables is healthy, but ONLY eating them may not be if it means losing out on important nutrients from other foods, or if it means you are putting your body in starvation mode. Also, many weight loss programs have food products to buy… they consist of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and a lot of times, soy (which in large doses could mess with our hormones). Doesn’t sound too healthy to me, even if it does cause temporary weight loss.
6. “Dieting is safe.” “One report shows most Americans — 64 percent — think the government requires warnings about side effects on weight loss products. It doesn’t. And most — 54 percent — think the products are approved for safety by the FDA. They’re not. ” (source) Diet pills are included in “weight loss products” They can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke, can cause you to become dehydrated and cause you to become addicted.
It’s time for a different approach which does not include weight loss, but healthy and intuitive eating.
When it all boils down to it– what is your focus? Weight loss or Health? Restriction or Pleasure?
I challenge you to challenge your SELF on how you REALLY feel about dieting. What is your motivation? And most importantly, are you comfortable in your own skin? If you were able to be super healthy and still not lose weight will you be okay with that?
I DO believe that weight loss is possible without going on a typical diet. Using our intuition when it comes to food and trusting our body is the key.
To Body Love,
Health Coach Kellie
p.s.- NO JOKE!! : Today ONLY I am offering a FREE, initial Breakthrough Session– can be scheduled for any time in April, but MUST be booked today! The Breakthrough Session lasts one hour and can be done by phone or in person. It’s a way to get to know each other, and to explore the ways your thoughts may be holding you back from living the life you have dreamed about. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule or to learn more! 🙂
*Health At Every Size is a registered trademark of the Association for Size Diversity and Health and is used with permission.