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Why Diets Don't Work

Healthcare provider talking to patient. There is a bowl of fruit on the table.

Research clearly shows that most diets don't work. Even those of us who lose weight on a diet generally regain most or all of the weight within a couple of years. That's not to say that once you're overweight there's no chance to reach and maintain a healthy weight. It just means that the way most diets are set up often leads to failure.

Things to consider

  • Diets deprive you. Many diets involve eliminating certain foods or even whole food groups. This is not only unhealthy but also unrealistic for the long term.

  • Many diets don't fit into normal life. Weighing and measuring food may help you lose weight, but they aren’t practical as long-term strategies for most people.

  • Dieting can be expensive. Buying special "diet" foods can rack up a big bill quickly.

  • Dieting actually lowers your metabolism. When you cut back on calories, your metabolism tends to slow down. You burn fewer calories and the diet becomes even less effective. Worst of all, this slowdown can last after the diet ends.

  • Eating is only half the equation. Lifetime weight management is not just about what you eat. It requires physical activity as well.

Note: Before trying any weight-loss plan, talk with your doctor.


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