Why Your Diet Won’t Work

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A woman taking a bite into a celery stalkMost people who go on diets soon gain back any lost weight.

The basic problem is that people think diets are something you do for a little while before going back to your old lifestyle.

People who want to achieve and maintain a healthy weight should start working at lifestyle changes they can maintain — even if it means not losing weight, but just staying at the same weight.

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Elements of this lifestyle change include moderating food intake, increasing physical activity, managing stress without food, and getting treatment for depression and other illnesses that get in the way.

Diets Are Hard To Do

Most diets involve a significant change in a person’s normal eating habits over an extended period of time. But habits die hard; we cling to them because they fit in with our lifestyle and the people around us.

And changing something that is second nature to us very often results in stress – especially if that change is at odds with the habits of those in our social and family world.

Dieting is also hard because it relies on our willpower to keep us on the right track. Willpower is often very strong at the start of a diet when we are desperate to change, but it can ebb and flow with the state of our health and the pressures and triggers of day-to-day life.

Dieters rarely think of rehearsing how they will manage in difficult situations such as going out to dinner with friends; they just hope their willpower will hold up and punish themselves if it doesn’t. Willpower is hard to maintain for extended periods of time, especially if our dietary rules are too strict. There’s also the danger that when we feel like we’ve made some progress in our diet, we become less inclined to put ourselves through the struggle of restricting our food.

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