Why Diets Don’t Work….And What Does

If I could make one wish as a nutritionist, it just might be that the word ‘diet’ completely disappears from our consciousness. So why am I so against dieting? So many reasons, so little space…but here’s a few good reasons why:

Diets don’t work.

Yes, you lose weight, but about 95% of people who lose weight by dieting will regain it in one to five years. Since dieting, by definition, is a temporary food plan, it won’t work in the long run. Thus, when you’ve ‘completed’ your diet, you simply boomerang back to the unhealthy eating patterns that caused your weight gain in the first place! Moreover, the deprivation of restrictive diets may lead to a diet-binge cycle or ‘yo-yo dieting’ which can cause further health problems.

Diets don’t address WHY you overeat.

It’s not just WHAT you eat – it’s WHY! 70% of eating is for emotional reasons. That’s why it’s so important to identify and tackle the emotional triggers behind your unhealthy eating patterns. If you don’t tackle the underlying reasons behind your overeating, sooner or later life will throw you a curve ball and you’ll find yourself resorting right back to your tried and tested comfort eating cycle.

Dieting can damage your health.

Many restrictive diets lack essential nutrients which can affect both our physical and emotional health leading to health issues such as decreased immunity, hair loss, infertility and low mood. Moreover, they teach you nothing about healthy eating. And, since your body doesn’t want you to starve, it responds to overly-restrictive diets by slowing down your metabolism which of course makes it harder to lose weight in the long run.

Dieting makes you miserable.

Overly restrictive diets take all the pleasure out of eating which can leave you feeling miserable.  And it’s no wonder you feel sorry for yourself. Sharing food with family and friends is one of life’s great joys and not being able to enjoy eating a normal meal with your loved ones would leave anyone feeling isolated and deprived.

So what does work?

So, the first step towards permanent healthy weight management is, somewhat ironically, to lose the diet and the dieting mindset and to follow the two key steps below:

1) Find a healthy style of eating that’s pleasurable and sustainable for the long term

2) Identify the psychological and emotional factors behind your eating habits

As a nutritionist who deals with weight loss clients every day, I’ve found this two step approach really is the only way to achieve lasting success. To this end, I have combined my qualifications and expertise in nutrition and cognitive behavioural therapy to create a Mind-Body Weight Management Programme that combines optimum nutrition with powerful psychological tools for maintaining motivation, eliminating cravings, overcoming emotional eating and ultimately having a controlled and healthy relationship with food.

If you’re interested in following my Mind-Body Weight Management Programme you can e-mail info@elsajonesnutrition.ie to set up an one to one consultation to assess your individual needs.