Wednesday, 8 June 2011

A do or diet situation?

By this time of the year, most New Year's resolutions to lose weight have long since bitten the dust. But if it was that fancy diet that did you in, fret not, as a recent study has proved that the prospects for successful dieting are never good. Out of every 100 people who diet, only four are able to both lose weight and maintain their post-diet weight. 

Dietician Gunasekaran says, "Women have a wrong conception about dieting. Dieting is not starvation — it is the increase in the intake of vitamin-rich food and reduction in the intake of carbohydrate-rich food."

Dieting is so popular that in the past 10 years, it's estimated that around 70 per cent of the adult female population and 30 per cent of all adult males have been on one. It doesn't seem to matter whether it's the Atkins diet or liquid diets; people will try almost anything in their frantic desire to shed a few pounds.

Here are some hard facts about dieting: 

Dieting makes you feel hungry and deprived 
Research shows that no matter what your size, dieting makes you hungry and creates powerful cravings for the very foods you are trying to avoid. Dieters also have to manage the feelings of deprivation. This kind of thinking is likely to lead to rebellious overeating.

Dieters lapse and collapse 
A diet only works for as long as you are on it. Most people get bored with rigid eating plans and go off the rails from time to time.The trouble is that, for many people, a lapse is a sign of failure. They tell themselves they've 'blown it' and experience feelings of inadequacy.

The lapse becomes a slippery slope and they end up eating anything that's not nailed to the floorboards because 'it's fine, I'll start again tomorrow'. Such people go from diet to diet, hoping to find the one that will stop them from failing. But such a diet doesn't exist!

Diets fail to address the emotional aspect of overeating 
People often overeat to deal with emotional problems, rather than because they're very hungry. This is normal, but some people gain weight because they turn to food for emotional comfort or to cope with negative feelings like anger or loss — for example, after a bad day at work, after a row with a loved one or as an end to a long week. "Each time I quarrel with my boyfriend, I end up hogging double the regular portion," says Krithika, a college student.

So it is the lifestyle and not the diet. In a world full of temptations, it's laudable to want to be a healthy weight and to manage your eating. However, dieting as we know it, is not the way to do it. "You can initially lose five to ten per cent of your weight on any number of diets, but then, the weight comes back," says Traci Mann, an associate professor of psychology.

People determine that someday they'll do the right thing, but for now, they're quite comfortable with where they are at. If you don't make the necessary changes now, it can show up later as a health problem. Changing the way you eat, the amount you exercise, or the way in which you live can make all the difference. 

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