Over 90% of the British population has tried dieting at some time in their lives but research into the long term effects of dieting has revealed that diets don’t really work. What is more, the sad fact is that dieting makes you fat!
Traci Mann, lead author of a study carried out by UCLA summarised the findings: ” “You can initially lose 5%-10% of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back. We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more.” *
In other words people may lose weight in the short-term only to put it back on, and often end up weighing more than when they started. The reason for this is that in evolutionary terms the human body is programmed to respond to dieting in the same way that it would respond to a famine, by storing fat in the body rather than burning it off. In the lean times this made perfect sense, because those people with the most body fat were able to survive the famine.
Another problem with dieting is that a dieter can feel guilty for indulging in certain types of food and this can lead to food cravings. The banned food becomes even more tempting! Diet plans are artificial “mechanical” regimes imposed from without that typically last a week or two and are then abandoned.
Dieting is a struggle; a desperate attempt to cling to a very mechanical formula. If we were just machines, just robots, this would be fair enough. Human beings though are more than mere physical machines….we also have a powerful mind, and the mind and body are intimately connected. Ultimately it is what goes on in the mind that determines our weight and shape.
So the smart way reduce weight is to acknowledge the psychological aspects of one’s eating patterns and the way that they are embedded in the larger “web” of habits and behaviours. Rather than focusing solely on weight, it is more effective in the long-term to think in terms of lifestyle changes.
A few sessions of hypnotherapy will kick-start these lifestyle changes by allowing you to access the power of your mind to embed new healthy habits into your life, habits that will last a lifetime.
*Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: Diets are not the answer. American Psychologist. Vol 62 (3) April 2007. 220-233.