The topic of the second week of my Recipes & Strategies class at Gilda’s Club in Westchester is often at the top of peoples minds: dieting.
Its easy to lose weight, but extremely hard to keep it off on a long term basis. Many folks spend years and years journeying from one diet to the next, most of the time with limited success. Research has shown that more than 80% of weight lost via dieting is eventually regained. I’ve been promoting the concept of dumping the diet for many years now.
As a country, we’ve been steadily gaining weight for some time now, 68% of Americans are currently overweight or obese. 80 million of us go on some sort of diet each year spending $30 billion dollars annually on products, programs. That’s a lot of moolah that could be better spent on real food, in my humble opinion.
Before dumping the diet mentality altogether, its essential that we explore the myths surrounding dieting that pave the way towards weight gain instead of weight loss. Here is my list of five diet myths that keep us stuck in the diet rut. Take a good long look at them, and come up with your own list of myths that cause you to choose food and eat in a certain way.
1. Eat less, exercise more
2. FAT makes you FAT
3. Counting: calories, carbs, fat grams
4. Fasting, de-tox plans and “cleanses”
5. Magical powders and potions, meal replacement plans and bars
Most of these diet myths work. For a short while. And then, for some reason or another, they backfire. Whatever weight you lost finds you again, sometimes with a vengence!
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
None of the strategies above lead to consistent, lasting, sustainable weight loss. As a matter of fact, many of these strategies lead to long term weight gain.
Stay tuned for part 2: about what causes us to hold onto unwanted weight.