Did you know that dieters typically shed 5 to 10 percent of their starting weight within the first six months? (according to researchers at UCLA). But there’s a catch: The same researchers found that at least one- to two-thirds of people on diets regain more weight than they lost within four or five years, and the true number may well be significantly higher. Even anecdotally, we all know people who have tried diet after diet, with no long-term success. And there’s a good chance you’ve done the same. Still, so many of us go back time and time again to diets that haven’t worked—every time thinking maybe if I did this one thing differently or I know I can stick it out this time, often blaming ourselves. (Read: IS THE RAW FOOD DIET GOOD FOR YOU?)
Well, we’re here to tell you it’s not your fault. Diets indeed set you up for failure. Here’s why.
1. Dieting triggers overeating
Severely limiting certain foods simply heightens your awareness of them. Just think: If you know you shouldn’t eat brownies, seeing one turns your sensors on. Science backs this up: People who ate dessert had better dieting success over eight months compared to those who deprived themselves, according to one Tel Aviv University study. Try these recipes of BROWNIES YOU CAN EAT WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY.
For the study, almost 200 clinically obese adults were randomly assigned to one of two diet groups. The first group ate low-carb, including a small 300-calorie breakfast. The second ate a 600-calorie breakfast that included a dessert item. People in both groups had lost an average of 15kg halfway through the study. But in the second half, the dessert group continued to lose weight, while the other regained an average of 10kg. )Read: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PALEO AND KETO DIETS?)
“Restricting food groups or demonizing things like sugar can lead to feelings of deprivation that often manifest as overeating or bingeing farther down the line,” says Laura Thomas, Ph.D., a registered nutritionist based in London. “It’s really self-defeating.