When Dieting Fails- Intuitive Eating Prevails

Yo-Yo measure tape w scissorLast Thursday, HealthDayNews.com published an article on a study conducted in Britain about the sad truth facing obese adults. Reaching a normal weight is a common struggle for so many Americans; and though it may seem difficult for all of us, the odds of losing weight for an obese adult are far smaller.


The study was conducted by researchers at University College London on 176,000 obese subjects. The results from this study found that there is a 1-210 chance for an obese man to reach his normal weight. Women on the other hand were slightly better off. The odds of an obese woman reaching a normal weight has a 1-124 chance.


While it may be extremely difficult to reach a normal weight, losing only 5% of body weight is a feat that many are able to achieve. The health benefits associated with losing 5% of body weight are ample. Increased HDL cholesterol, decreased blood pressure, lower A1C, decreased insulin resistance, improved sleep apnea, and decreased inflammation are all positive side effects that come from losing that small fraction of weight.


However, researchers from the same study also found that of the subjects who lost five percent body weight, roughly 78% of them gained the weight back in five years. The study does not include subjects who have experienced weight-loss surgery. These numbers are striking.


Three-quarters of obese people that lose weight cannot keep it off. We must ask ourselves why?


The study does not elaborate on how these subjects went about losing weight. Subjects may have followed a “formal weight loss program” or they may have “tried a fad diet”. With shady methods of losing weight, one thing is clear: whatever people are doing to shed pounds is ineffective.


Yes, short term weight loss can be achieved through dieting. But once the weight has been lost, the diet is no longer followed and people slip right back into their unhealthy eating habits. Does this sound familiar to you?


What this tells us loud and clear is that diets are not the answer.


It isn’t about what you can’t eat, it isn’t about starving yourself or dramatically losing weight in a short period of time.  It’s about diligence and moving your body and caring about your well-being. What we need are more registered dietitian nutritionist coaches who teach overweight adults how to retrain their eating behaviors. What we don’t need is another diet to hit the market with false promises that sound so tempting to those struggling with their relationship with food.


Though the results of this study appear bleak, I encourage you to find hope in this news rather than despair. There is a way for you to lose the weight and never gain it back. And it has nothing to do with dieting. It has to do with giving up dieting and embracing an intuitive eating practice into your life.


Through the practice of intuitive eating, you become more in tune with your body signals and make more positive decisions about your eating behaviors. With the emphasis off the body weight scale, you will see that losing weight becomes more of an organic process. You’ll wake up one morning and realize that you’ve lost 5% of your body weight and are reaping the health benefits as well.


If you are interested in learning more about intuitive eating, click here.


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