Why Diets Fail So Often
Millions of people worldwide know the truth about dieting: losing weight is easy, but keeping it off is not. Research studies have consistently agreed. Most show that people go on diets and lose weight initially, only to eventually return to their original weight levels. Only 5% of dieters who lose weight keep those pounds off for a whole year. This is why there are so many diet programs out there, because so many of them fail and the dieter then moves on to the next one.
In the last thirty years, the number of overweight and obese American adults has risen dramatically to over two-thirds of the population. The dangers of obesity are well documented: blood pressure and cholesterol levels go up, which increases the risk of heart disease. Overweight people are also more susceptible to diabetes and even some cancers. Most people are aware of these risks; some studies indicate the average American diets 2-3 times annually. Ten billion dollars every year is spent on diets and their products. Despite all these efforts, diets continue to fail and obesity rates keep rising. What is the problem?
There are a lot of factors that work against maintaining weight loss. Many diets are boring and the dieter must constantly fight the temptation to return to "fun" eating habits. Chronic dieters may also become disheartened and give up after their weight levels off. Often people who lose a lot of pounds really quickly don't discover how to changes their overall lifestyle. No matter how successful the diet initially is, if the individual does not keep eating healthier foods and exercising on a regular basis, it will eventually fail.
Another problem is that constant dieting leads to a drop in metabolism. People who adopt skimpy 1000 calorie/day diets force their bodies into starvation mode. The body begins to conserve and store calories rather than burning them, which causes the overall metabolism to lower. Consequently, less food does not necessarily mean more weight lost. Once the dieter begins eating regularly again, the pounds start piling on quick because the body is still in calorie conservation mode. The metabolism can actually stay lowered for up to a year.
Crash dieting can be especially detrimental to weight loss efforts. Losing 10 pounds in two weeks can be thrilling, but it can also change the composition of the body. The weight lost during this time is parts water, fat and muscle. The water and fat are easily regained, but unless the dieter is also working out, the muscle is not. As a result, many crash dieters fall into a cycle of losing weight and gaining it back, all the while losing muscle mass. Taking the place of the muscle is fat and water, which makes it even harder to keep the weight off the next time around. This is a vicious process, since muscles help burn calories and enable our bodies to exercise effectively.
Health experts generally concur that surgical treatment is the only guaranteed way to keep weight off. Federal guidelines state that a person must try to lose weight other ways and be at least 100 pounds overweight before undergoing surgical procedures. People who are considering surgery should keep in mind that surgery will leave scars, and if they do not improve their overall lifestyle, there will still be health consequences.
The bottom line is that most diets are a temporary fix for a permanent problem. For diets to work, they must be part of larger lifestyle changes, and they cannot be off and on. Successful diets are usually the least radical ones. Studies have shown that humans have trouble sustaining drastic changes in their lives. Instead, dieters should focus on taking steps towards healthiness, and realize that it may take a while to get back into shape. Cutting some calories out of your diet by eating healthier foods and adding some light exercise a few times a week is a great way to start.
With busy lifestyles this is easier said than done. Fortunately there are proven weight loss programs that take both the science of losing weight and the practical realities (i.e. people like to eat tasty food) into account to give dieters an easy-to-follow option. These highly effective diet plans, such as Nutrisystem and Medifast, have proven very successful long term, as you can see by reading some of the success stories on their sites. You can eat delicious food with meals designed to satisfy your hunger, boost your energy and metabolism, provide complete nutrition, and lose weight. If you do not have the time or cooking skills to prepare healthy meals that really taste good or you don't have the patience to count calories, you need to check out Nutrisystem and Medifast. One of these diet plans can be an easy enough change to your lifestyle that you can stick with for long term success.
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