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Dr. A's Top 10 Reasons to Ditch Diets

1. Diets don’t work

You may lose a few pounds by following the latest fad diet and starving yourself, but study after scientific study shows that dieting does not result in lasting weight loss. In other words… diets don’t work!

Body size is largely determine by genetics, and since you can’t fool Mother Nature why are you torturing yourself? You’ve heard that old sports adage: No pain, no gain. When it comes to diets it’s: Lots of pain, still gain. See #2 below for details.


2. Diets lead to weight gain, not weight loss

You read that right. Dieting makes you heavier! This is really important so let me explain: Every time you diet your body thinks you are starving so it ratchets down your metabolism and ratchets up fat storing capacity. I know you don’t want to believe me. It’s hard to accept the fact that you’ve wasted all that time and energy denying yourself food; making yourself hungry, grouchy and tired for no reason.  Yes it’s true, dieting is a waste of time, money and energy that only hurts your health (mental and physical), wealth and waistline. Ever see a happy dieter outside of a diet commercial? Time to smash your scale and get a life. 

3. Diets train you to ignore hunger

You were born with a hunger instinct. It’s normal. The drive to eat keeps you alive. Diets teach you to ignore your hunger by forcing you to follow rigid rules about what, when and how much to eat. Years of dieting have trained you to believe that you can’t control yourself around food and suppressing your appetite is virtuous.


If you’ve been on the diet rollercoaster, eating when you are hungry may feel strange and confusing. You need to listen to your body when it speaks and stop letting diet industry propaganda drown out your natural, healthy, hunger cues. You already know how to eat. When you were a baby you came with a hunger alert system: SCREAMING. You still have that alert system; dieting has just silenced it. Time to mute the diet, let the hunger volume rise and listen to it.


4. Diets are dangerous stress inducers

Research shows dieting increases both chronic psychological stress and more dangerously the stress hormone cortisol, two factors that are known to increase appetite and cause weight gain. Elevated stress response is associated with numerous health risks including heart disease, diabetes, reduced immune function, cognitive impairment and the accumulation of dangerous abdominal fat. 


Think about the last time you dieted. Were you relaxed and happy or agitated, stressed and depressed? Better yet, ask a friend or mate what it was like to be around you the last time you dieted.


5. Diets trigger food obsession

Dieting activates intense 24/7 hunger. Because your body and brain are constantly screaming for calories to fuel ALL your activities of daily living — thinking, moving, working etc — you can’t stop fixating on food. And the food preoccupation doesn’t go away unless you eat. When you can’t stand it any longer and break your diet you binge, right?  Even if you lost a little on the diet it’s all gone now, another waste of time, energy and suffering. Starting to see a pattern here?


6. Diets induce self-loathing and destroy your self-esteem

When you diet you judge yourself by the numbers — how many calories you’ve eaten, how many calories you’ve burned, how much you weigh and how many “good” or “bad” foods you’ve consumed. When the scale doesn’t budge or you’ve had a “bad” diet day you blame yourself, your lack of discipline, your personal weakness, and self-esteem suffers. Essentially you’re blaming you for not being able to force yourself to starve even though your body is trying to make you eat. How crazy is that?


When you accept your body and self as they are, eat for fun and health, dumping diets, denial and desperation, then I can help you apply positive weight management tools and techniques. This will open the door for you to experience true, permanent, transformation of body, mind and spirit. (Or you could just keep dieting and remain unhappy, unhealthy and unfulfilled, but please remember your choice.)


7. Diets damage your body

Dieting leads to both bone and muscle loss, which increases your risk of osteoporosis and lowers your metabolism. Many diets, especially those like Atkins that forbid or limit entire food groups, are nutritionally inadequate and can lead to malnutrition. High protein diets increase your risk of cardiac, renal, bone and liver problems. According to Dr. Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology/Alzheimer's Research/Cancer Research, Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California: “convincing evidence (shows) that a high-protein diet — particularly if the proteins are derived from animals — is nearly as bad as smoking for your health.” 


While doctors often tell unhealthy patients to “lose weight” focusing on weight loss is not the way to achieve wellness. The best way to improve your health is to set an intention to be healthy and then focus on lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, increasing exercise, eating more fruits and veggies and less processed foods. Notice how I have not “forbidden” any food or food groups? This is the first, easy step in my Positive Weight Management Program where no food is “forbidden” and we focus on what to eat, instead of what not to eat.


8. Diets increase the risk of developing eating disorders

The eating disorder Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, as high as 20%! And if that isn’t bad enough it strikes women almost exclusively (Only an estimated 5-15% of males have anorexia or bulimia.). While several factors (genetic vulnerability, psychological circumstances and socio-cultural influences), contribute to the development of an eating disorder, these deadly diseases commonly start with dieting and extreme weight loss regimes.


9. Diets make you miserable

When was the last time you enjoyed dieting? NEVER! Diets make you miserable, tired, depressed and grouchy. The lack of calories and increase in stress also impair your mental abilities. Yes, diets make you dumb. But you already knew that didn’t you? So why do you keep doing it to yourself? If you want to keep beating your body and psyche there are websites for that, but I would like to suggest a healthier alternative… stop dieting. 


10. Diets keep you stuck in reverse

We’re constantly told by diet industry advertisements that weight loss will change our lives. As a result, we dream about all the things we’ll do when the diet is a “success,” wasting valuable time and energy, instead of creating a life we want right now. Some sad people spend their whole lives waiting… and waiting… and waiting, for the number between their toes to change their lives. They’re still waiting… Don’t let a silly number or celebrity “diet-doc” keep you from living your life.


Dieting is the problem, not the solution. Please stop.