The overplayed importance of diets in weight loss


Getting into shape and living a healthier lifestyle is the typical New Year’s resolution for most people. However, in recent years, healthy living has transformed from being a lifestyle into a growing trend, particularly among the younger generation.

Nielsen Global Health and Wellness Survey in 2015 reported that younger customers, compared to the previous generations, are more attentive towards their food intake – being selective in regards to ingredients and whether their food is genetically modified and organic. More than 40% of men and women aged below 20 have shown that they are willing to spend more money on healthier products.

Part of this healthy living phenomenon comes in the form of weight loss. This has become more prevalent given the growing problem of obesity around the world. In the US, it is predicted that in 2030 half of the adults will be obese.

Weight loss has become a major issue and is usually the starting goal for younger people looking to lead a healthy life. The development of technology has also influenced the way people lose weight, with procedures such as liposuction and body contouring offering a more dramatic weight loss option. However, conventional methods such as dieting are still the most popular method.

Research from Mintel has shown that 29 million people in the UK have tried to lose weight through diet in the year 2014 and it was recorded that 66% of Americans were on a diet during 2016. These statistics suggest people are still convinced that going on certain diets are the best way to lose weight. This is also proven by the growing popularity of books, apps, content, and online plans that support your dieting needs.

Despite the strong belief in diet as an effective weight-loss method, several studies have suggested that it may not be the only thing people should focus on.

In 2007, a research conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles indicated that           dieting will actually make you gain weight. Typically, people on stringent diets lose five to ten percent of their weight during the first six months. However, most of them regain more weight than they had lost in five years.

Steve Miller, a weight loss and motivation hypnotherapist, has said that diets exacerbate an unhealthy obsession with food, leading to guilt from those who are on the diet. When a person starts going on a diet, food becomes all they think about. Bad diets even starve the body from nutrients that are essential to the human body, leading to several side effects that may endanger one’s health.

Miller also added that diets do not deal the underlying reason of why a person is overweight, which is essential for instances of emotional eating. Weight loss relies heavily on motivation and diets tend to do the opposite – make people feel restricted about eating. A good diet should lead you towards sensible eating.

Clark Russell, nutritionist and author of e-book The Fat Loss Puzzle also shared his disapproval towards diets, claiming that the diet industry is “the most successful failed business in the world”. The American Psychological Association in 2008 released a study concluding that calorie restrictive diets don’t work and are not sustainable. During these diets, your body reacts by lowering its metabolism to survive the decreasing intake of calories. Thus, trying to retain fat instead of burning it. What matters are the quality of the calories you consume rather than their quantity.

A better approach for a healthy diet is sensible eating. For a greater understanding of this, we should remember that everyone is unique and our genetics are what distinguish us from one another. That is why no one diet can be applied for everyone.

For a more healthy weight loss program, every individual would require a diet designed especially for his or her conditions. Practicing a more mindful style of eating can also result in a more healthy weight loss effort. A habit people should be wary of is ‘unconscious eating’ – the habit of eating without thinking about the act itself. For example, we often find ourselves snacking while completing other tasks. Being aware of these situations can help reduce “unconscious eating”.

A more common way to lose weight is through exercise. This of course has to be accompanied with a more moderate and healthy eating habit to be effective. Without exercise, the weight you lose is not only from fat, but also muscle and bone density. What exercise does is burns the fat by stimulating growth of metabolic tissues. Studies have shown that exercise is the best way to keep off the weight you have managed to lose through healthy eating. Another major positive from exercise is that it boosts energy levels and improves a person’s mood.

At this age of information where we are inundated with news and views surrounding diets and weight loss methods, it is important to be smart and critical in looking up and finding the best and healthiest way to lose weight. A good diet is a non-restricting and inspiring diet. Most importantly, however, it is one that works best for you.

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