Do Diets Really Wor...
 
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Do Diets Really Work?

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Posts: 8
Topic starter
(@disorderedeatingsupport)
Active Member
Joined: 11 years ago

I apologise if I am posting in the incorrect forum and feel free to move the thread if that is the case, but I couldn't find a more appropriate forum. The Thread on Obesity and my own, slight obsession with this topic has lead me to take the plunge and post πŸ™‚

There has been a lot in the media recently about diets and the 'the men who made us thin' series on BBC, a follow on from 'the men who made us fat' last year is causing a bit of a stir - but even this might not change ingrained attitudes?

Through my professional work and personal life - I come to realise that far more people than I thought or had hoped, still seem to believe or think that diets are the 'answer', but more worryingly that they are the failures for the diets not working.

I am very concerned by the self hatred that diets seem to breed for a lot of people and in others also e.g a Mother / Father believing their Daughter / Son isn't working hard enough at their diet and that's why they aren't losing weight.

On a wider societal view - a worrying belief exists that people who are not the weight that the Government deems to be 'healthy' is a result of a distinct lack of will power, an inability to 'stick to ' the diet.

As you can probably tell, I find all of this very concerning and wander what / why / how / where and when we can further change the attitude about diets from being the 'answer' to weight loss to being the money making, billion pound business that survives on making diets that don't work.

Any Thoughts?

I must add, I do realise that not everyone who is a size / shape 'different' to what is perceived as 'healthy' has a disordered relationship with food. πŸ™‚

27 Replies
Tashanie
Posts: 1924
(@tashanie)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago

We have had calorie controlled diets for 50 years - and we still have an obesity problem. Diets on there own do NOT work. You MUST address issues like emotional eating, and indeed take a holistic to have the best chance of success.

You also need address issues that are KEEPING them fat - the secondary gain they may not even be aware of.

It needs to be about making lifestyle changes - not about losing weight. And indeed being thin is a NOT a sign you are healthy anyway - ask any anorexic!!!

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Posts: 2792
(@darrensurrey)
Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago

The keyword is lifestyle. Too many people have an on/off approach - "on a diet", "falling off the wagon". It keeps big business in business.

I do think people are starting to understand hence the likes of paleo and IF, of which both methods of eating are sustainable permanently. (Apart from Christmas. πŸ˜€ )

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Posts: 8
Topic starter
(@disorderedeatingsupport)
Active Member
Joined: 11 years ago

Hi, yes that's a really good point about "secondary gain" and one that isn't often talked about, or as refer to probably not even thought of; that being the function to maintaining fat.

Our fat (not for everyone of course) can represent feelings, unmanaged, uncomfortable feelings and can protect us from these feelings because we haven't developed the coping,self soothing skills to deal with them.

Fat can also represent, again protection and strength (this is generally on an unconscious or subconscious level) that we have needed to maintain due to past traumas for example.

These aspects are so seldom alluded to when we talk about diets.

An example - despite my family and friends knowing what I do, the campaigning I do, the research, my clinical work and so on....almost all of them are on diets and continue in this way. That is not to say they should believe in what I do at all, but when in discussion they are often in agreement, but in practice, they still use diets. Interesting.

Having said that it may feel too painful an experience to explore what is actually going on and the root cause of our eating. There unfortunately isn't enough alternatives to Diets out there.

And with a National Health System that seems to endorse diets over psychological therapies it's easy to see why people invest so much belief in diets. :016:

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NICE_1
Posts: 1165
(@nice_1)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago

Hi .

I watched a t.v. documentary last month regarding obesity in india . There are 50 million over weight / obese indians today and in head for head count india has the most people that have diabetic symptoms / problems .

There was talk of fat / obese children in india that are a reflection of their families wealth . It is seen as a good thing in that respect .

The fast food chain western influence is rife in india at present and like a kid in a sweet shop they just cant get enough of mcdonalds and kfc lol .

There is an element of denial that such foods are harmful, there is also a lack of education regarding such foods . Historically it was mentioned that genetically through the generations of ancestral eating habits due to what foods were available at the time has left the modern day indians in a diabetic time bomb situation .

I spoke on another thread about genetic deficiencies and the need to take that into consideration when evaluating how much vitamin and mineral intake one must have .

In respect to diets it is important to know your own body-makeup and it's strengths and weaknesses in regards to what foods you need to increase and what foods you need to decrease or eliminate . The problem generally speaking is that an illness / ailment normally has to manifest in order for one to take note that something is out of sync or out of balance in some shape or form .

Get that balance right and the canary will sing .

When the canary sings you will be eating in accordance to what your individual body requires .

In that respect each so called individual requirement will reflect in an individual diet or way of eating .

If one sticks to that way of eating then they will be their ideal individual weight . Simple as, but easier said than done .

x dazzle x

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Crowan
Posts: 3429
(@crowan)
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Joined: 14 years ago

If one sticks to that way of eating then they will be their ideal individual weight .

Of course, we'd then have to agree on what an ideal individual weight would be - and that changes with the fashion of the times.

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Posts: 8
Topic starter
(@disorderedeatingsupport)
Active Member
Joined: 11 years ago

Hi,

Yes I missed the programme based in India - I must try and catch up with it on Iplayer if it's there.

The vast, unprecedented abundance, availability and accessibility of cheap food has a definite impact upon why so many of us use it to cope with life.

People who were considered 'larger' were thought of as attractive, wealthy, desirable, able to provide for the family and so on (in times gone by and still in some cultures). To be revered for being 'thin' and shamed for being 'fat' is a social construct and a damaging one at that.

We have adopted this social construct, there are no 'right' and 'wrong' body shapes, weights and sizes - so upon this premise by adopting this construct, we can therefore abandon / change / move on from it - to a position of body acceptance despite size / weight / shape.

Take care of the mind and the weight will take care of it'self πŸ™‚

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NICE_1
Posts: 1165
(@nice_1)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago

Of course, we'd then have to agree on what an ideal individual weight would be - and that changes with the fashion of the times.

I suppose Crowan that people could debate about almost anything .. and being individual in nature many opinions will differ but at the heart of the matter there is only the Individual that lives within their own skin so what would be an ideal weight for them may not be ideal for another . In that respect it matters not what anyone else thinks . lol .

x daz x

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NICE_1
Posts: 1165
(@nice_1)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago

Take care of the mind and the weight will take care of it'self πŸ™‚

Care to expand on that πŸ™‚

Do you think one can be happy in mind whilst still being obese .

You hear some say that I am fat and I happy being fat .. (for example) .

x daz x

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Posts: 2792
(@darrensurrey)
Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago

WRT size/weight, the ultimate indicator is about health. Sure, you can get fit but fat people but that doesn't mean they are healthy. Fat cells release hormones that increase the development of cancer, for instance. Being obese is bad on the knees. Whether a woman should be size 10, 12 or 14 (UK) is entirely debatable, on the other hand, and frankly they're all within healthy ranges depending on the height of the individual.

As for mind vs weight, I'm sure they're not truly happy at being obese - but you'd have to explore their background to discover the truth. If you're truly happy with yourself, why would you feed yourself poison?

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Posts: 2
(@linasktu)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago

There are happy fat people

Care to expand on that πŸ™‚

Do you think one can be happy in mind whilst still being obese .

You hear some say that I am fat and I happy being fat .. (for example) .

x daz x

Nobody says i am happy to be fat, but many people say I am happy (for other reasons) whilst being fat.

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ilivenaturally
Posts: 22
(@ilivenaturally)
Eminent Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Diets don't work

Diets don't usually work long term. In order for something to work long term it has to be a lifestyle change rather than refraining from certain foods for X amount of time then binging.

I was never successful until I changed my attitude and realized I didn't need to get skinny...I needed to get healthy. Two very different things. Skinny does not always equal to healthy. I started to replace meals we enjoyed regularly with healthier alternatives. Example: I love pasta! So I replaced it with whole wheat pasta, and I make a healthy cauliflower alfredo sauce that has no cheese or cream (don't gag or scoff, it's actually surprisingly delicious!). Or instead of burgers I made ostrich meat burgers (taste exactly like beef but are leaner than turkey) and used pita buns over white burger buns. I added chia seeds to my daily diet (they're full of nutrients and help curb cravings)
By doing things like that, the weight just started dropping off and staying off...did I mention I didn't feel restricted like one would on a diet? I feel like I'm making no effort, yet I'm seeing results.

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nedrah
Posts: 15
(@nedrah)
Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Well diet will not likely to work especially if you want to lose weight the healthier way. Losing weight or being fit involes a multifactorial process. Diet has a big rome but it should be couple with exercise and healthy overall lifestyle.

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Posts: 1
(@arcadiane)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Hi first post on Healthy Pages and though I've looked in on occasion in the past I've very little knowledge of most things on the site, but hope the following recent accidental loss of weight discovery might be of some help to someone.

This lack of knowledge and experience applies even more to my diets which probably as a typical male (now 65) I've never once thought about in my life, other than occasionally wondering why I could never get below 15 stone 5/6 lbs for years as up until about 10 years ago I was usually about 14 stone odd. I've been used to eating the same old routine Supermarket foods for years in reaonably sized portions too plus perhaps 5/6 pints of real ale a month, sometimes cooking properly most other times a microwave meal or a bite at the pub as I'm usually too busy or uninterested to spare the time.

Anyway last week on Thursday or Friday evening I got a real fright when all of a sudden a mouthful of food halfway through the meal got stuck in my throat and just wouldn't go down only acid reflux coming up which was pretty horrible, also it was the first time it had ever happened in my life ! I quickly Googled what to do and immediately started taking sips of very warm water and for about 10 minutes nothing happened at all, so I was getting pretty worried as I couldn't burp out the air that was trapped underneath either. Thankfully some bits of unswallowed food slowly did start regurgitating until after about another hour or so it had finally all been regurgitated. However it still felt like there was something in my throat which turned out later to be still more trapped air.

With no idea what had happened I immediately booked an appointment to see the Doctor which would unfortunately still be two days away, so in the meantime and still being pretty worried I managed to chew/ drink some small very milky porridge for breakfast, a can of cream of tomato soup for lunch and a small portion of watery boiled rice for dinner. Luckily taking it very slowly it all went down ok in about 5 minutes.

The doctor gave me a quick examination stomach, neck etc. but everything seemed ok giving me some prescriptions for mainly indigestion at the same time booking me in for a gastroscopy examination in the local hospital. Luckily I only had to wait three or four days so I still had to remain on the same meals before finally having the examination last Wednesday. It wasn't exactly an enjoyable experience either ! Well he said at the end there's no real problem at all just a slight narrowing of the oesophagus which was quite normal for my age group, even amazingly taking a much chewed bourbon biscuit afterwards in the after care room with little problem either ! Finally I was told to take a course of indigestion pills (Lansospirole or something together with the Pentac the doctor had prescribed originally) which I've been doing since, so all finally seemed to be ok on the medical front.

However I was still very anxious about what I could and couldn't eat so definitely decided to continue with the same meals as above as I was too scared to risk eating anything else. Well yes as perhaps some of you might have started to suspect, I began to think it might have something to do with nerves too as once or twice in the last day or so I've tried to relax before the same meals and found they went down with little problem also there was much less trapped air than before. Last night I even managed a microwaved beef curry and rice which although I deliberately took about 10 minutes to finish it, it all went down ok as well - just a slight burp or two at the end so I'm feeling a little more relieved lately as it's a really frightening feeling knowing you're not able to swallow anything properly, only liquified foods.

Anyway after breakfast this morning I suddenly remembered my bathroom scales and was amazed to find I'd lost nearly a stone, now reading 14st. 8lbs or so ! Which in turn reminded me that when things were difficult and at their height, I deliberately would ignore all hunger pangs no matter how strong they were as I was just too plain scared to eat anything for fear of the consequences.

Sorry about the long waffle but at least something positive for me has come out of it as I'm delighted to have lost so much weight so quickly. However, whilst obviously we're all different, it has left me personally wondering if my original hunger pangs had somehow gone off the scale and down the years had become sort of "artificial" or out of control in some way ? Has anyone else heard of this before as I'd very much like to know ?

Anyway whenever I now feel too many hunger pangs coming on, I'm guessing as I still don't know yet, but say more than 3 during the course of the day I immediately have a cup of tea or something but no food. And whilst at the beginning it was quite difficult to resist and ignore the pangs, with continued practice at keeping it at about 3 or so obviously without starving myself, it's now starting to get a lot easier.

As I said at the beginning this is just my own tale, but if it's of any help to anyone else in any way that's a bonus. Whatever else I'm going to be much more careful to be relaxed when eating in future and if ignoring excessive hunger pangs helps a bit too well that's an additional bonus.

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Posts: 3
(@ivonne)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Diets that work?

A healthy diet is the only diet that works.

I try not to follow fad diets because I don’t believe any of them work.

I know people who rave about the cabbage soup diet and drinking shakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and claim that they have resulted in significant weight loss, but what about after the extreme eating habits have been swapped for more normal regular meals?

The same thing tends to happen. The weight starts to pile on. But maybe I am wrong.

Is there a diet that someone has found useful in the long-term?

Have a great day,
Ivonne:)

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Posts: 5
(@jonaaa)
Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Diet will not work long-term if you didn't change your lifestyle. It is all about discipline and control to yourself on what you eat and also commitment.

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Posts: 5
(@jonaaa)
Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Diet will not work long-term if you didn't change your lifestyle. It is all about discipline and control to yourself on what you eat and also commitment.:)

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Posts: 22
(@kayinda)
Eminent Member
Joined: 11 years ago

While I'm not overweight, I am nearing thirty and find that my metabolism is slowing down a bit, leading to a bit of extra padding around the tummy area. I've been eating a LCHF (low carb high fat) diet lately, and when I have enough discipline to stick to it (I love burgers!), I lose weight fast.

The key is to eliminate carbs as much as possible, especially wheat-based carbs like pasta and bread. Increase the amount of vegetables and healthy fats in your diet (and no, saturated fat is not unhealthy - many recent studies have proven that there is virtually no link between saturated fats and heart disease). According to proponents of this diet, you can expect to lose 1-3 kilos in the first week, and then a kilo every fortnight thereafter. Like I said, I've been bad at sticking with it, but there's a visible difference just after a few days.

The reason that it works is that carbohydrates release insulin, which is the fat-storing hormone. On a low carb diet, your body instead uses stored fat and turns it into energy.

There's much more to it, and if anyone is interested I am happy to post links.

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Posts: 861
(@mountaineer)
Prominent Member
Joined: 12 years ago

I had a hot cross bun at Easter ...It was delicious. So delicious I had another 5 (Well, I was hungry!).
Checking the packet, shocked at how many calories had gone down my neck in only 15 minutes or thereabouts.
That's the trouble with processed food so easy to go off the dial. Whereas it is very hard to overdose calorie wise on unprocessed/'natural' foods.
My diet advice is to eat natural foods and take some form of regular exercise.

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Posts: 20
(@rebecca44)
Eminent Member
Joined: 10 years ago

I am doing the Paleo diet and it really does work. It is the only diet that has worked for me.

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tinav72
Posts: 6
(@tinav72)
Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago

I also do try to stick with low carb eating, I've found that the less carbs i consume, the better my diabetes sugar level is. I have found that its that carbs that increase my sugar readings. I cam across a recipe for a bread substitute, if your interested. Although you can't slice it like sandwich bread, but its great for dipping etc. There are no carbs, and no fat in it, and it cooks in the microwave in about 4 mins..

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Top Notch Luke
Posts: 5
(@top-notch-luke)
Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Evening all,
I think the term "diet" has mutated in the past 5-10 years to the extent that almost anything that isn't your "usual food" is a diet. Its not helped when celebs are written about having been on the latest craze/fad/thing.

Personally, I don't think a "diet" per-se isn't what it used to be. For some they can just cut out bread along with other beiges (as these are usually just fillers and sugars mainly) and they're fine. For some they need the support that goes along with it - be it a monthly/weekly group with others or an online community. You're more likely to succeed with others - I can't find the exact quote but you know what I mean I hope!

Rather than cutting food out (which some see as a punishment or guilty food) you can add to it or just substitute it for healthier alternatives. This is probably a whole other topic entirely but Google & YouTube are great for ideas on that.

Mountaineer has also mentioned about exercise. This is often overlooked. Banging on shakes and Thermopills alone isn't the answer - you MUST move! Of course it'll be difficult at the start so this is where the support element comes in to it.
I'm not saying by any means to go from sedentary lifestyle to bootcamp in a week - I consider myself healthy and that stuff is HARD man! - but small incremental steps will over time compound to fantastic results. This clip from Jim Rohn touches on this in regards to push ups - its a great illustration and the guy is amazing to listen to.

Lastly, there is no one-diet-fits-all out there. We're all different body types with different metabolism rates so if it means trying out several different eating habits to find that one that works with your body without damaging it in the process ([url]oh yes[/url]) then so be it.

I hope that a) this get approved by the mods after I've written it all and B) that it helps,

Have a great week,
Luke

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Posts: 112
(@brian-jones)
Estimable Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Hmn, for me… it is not what you eat that contributes to weight gain, it is how much you eat the matters most. But, whole wheat bread is a great source of nutrients and won’t make you gain weight. πŸ™‚

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Crowan
Posts: 3429
(@crowan)
Famed Member
Joined: 14 years ago

Hmn, for me… it is not what you eat that contributes to weight gain, it is how much you eat the matters most. But, whole wheat bread is a great source of nutrients and won’t make you gain weight. πŸ™‚

It will if you eat too much of it.

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Posts: 16
(@debbiebenton)
Active Member
Joined: 9 years ago

It needs to be about making lifestyle changes - not about losing weight. And indeed being thin is a NOT a sign you are healthy anyway - ask any anorexic!!!

I agree! It's more on making simple lifestyle changes on the way you exercise and eat. These are the most steps to take.

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Posts: 2792
(@darrensurrey)
Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago

Certainly, subtle changes for a long term goal will result in long term success rather than quick success followed by a binge/quit/fail cycle.

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Posts: 3
(@phylliswinger)
New Member
Joined: 8 years ago

Yes, Diets do work. But, simultaneously regular workouts are also important.

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yoga-beauty
Posts: 4
(@yoga-beauty)
New Member
Joined: 8 years ago

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