You Haven’t Failed, Part 2: Diets Are Mostly Unsuccessful
This post is the second in a series of five posts from my forthcoming book on Mindful Eating and EFT Tapping, to be published by North Atlantic Books in Spring 2019.
In May 2017, a TIME Magazine article tracked the work of Kevin Hall, a scientist at the National Institutes of Health who studied 14 contestants on The Biggest Loser in an attempt to understand the roots of weight-loss success or failure. Of the participants Hall tracked on that show, some of whom had lost up to a whopping 20 pounds in one week, 13 of the 14 re-gained 66 percent of their originial body weight over time.
Hall was stymied to see that, even under seemingly perfect conditions—rigourous workouts, scientifically crafted meal plans, and a team of health professionals at the ready—the bodies of those contestants were determined to get that weight back ASAP.
Research has shown consistently that chronic restrictive dieting is a well-known predictor of weight gain. Dr. Linda Bacon, researcher, psychotherapist, and recovering dieter, points out that reduced caloric intake wreaks havoc on the metabolic pathways that would otherwise naturally establish weight stability. The hormonal changes triggered by such upheaval tell your body: Eat less, weigh more.
Hall’s and Bacon’s observations up-end the logic propagated by a $66.3 billion weight-loss industry selling everything from diet pills to meal plans to fancy gym memberships
But in the interest of preserving its hallowed profit margins, that diet industry will never tell you the truth: The more you diet, the more you weigh.