Beating the Odds
Eighty-five percent of people who go on a diet without behavioral support gain the weight back within two years. Those are lousy odds!
If that isn't enough to convince you to abandon the dieting circus, let's look at a study out of UCLA. In the largest, most comprehensive and rigorous analysis to date, investigators reviewing thirty-one long-term dieting studies discovered (to no one's surprise) that the dieters gained their weight back and then some. In fact, several studies indicated that dieters are actually more likely to gain weight in the future and to suffer from poorer long-term health than non-dieters. -- Mann, T., et al., "Medicare's Search for Effective Obesity Treatments: Diets Are Not the Answer." American Psychologist 62 (April 2007): 220-233.
Ironic, isn't it?
I know what you're thinking ... there's no point in dieting, so you're off the hook! Not so fast, my friend.
Dieting on its own may not be the answer, but neither is the status quo. Being overweight increases the likelihood that you'll suffer from overall poor health and eventually become sick. Medical literature is teeming with studies that confirm it. And you don't even have to be obese to be at risk. As your weight rises, so do your health risks.
Extra weight around the middle is a harbinger of poor health to come. As body fat gathers around our organs, it sends out ever larger quantities of dangerous substances that increase blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar, turning on a cascade of inflammatory pathways that erode the body's defenses. This cluster of symptoms, called metabolic syndrome, is currently attacking the health of over 70 million Americans.
So diets alone don't work, but it's dangerous to be overweight... what can we do?