Friday, January 06, 2012

12 Changes For 2012 - #5 - Don't Diet

Americans spend a tremendous amount to lose weight. In 2010, we spent SIXTY ONE BILLION DOLLARS just to shed a few pounds. Big chains like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers collected $3B. Diet pills and meal replacements took in $3B. And food delivery operations like Nutrisystem received $1B.

The typical dieter makes four attempts per year. Which means most people fail at least three times. And 80% of dieters do it completely on their own, without any support or professional help.
But despite all that money and all those attempts, as few as 1 in 5 people (in Colorado) and as many as 1 in 3 people (in Mississippi) are still obese.

Do you know anyone who has successfully gone through a "diet" and continued to keep the weight off? Or do you know plenty of people who have gone through all manner of diets, with little or no long term success? Think of all the friends you know that try this fad diet or that fad diet and always seem to be trying something new every other month. And how much money have them spent? Do they seem happy with their results? Sadly, their cycle will probably never end.

Why? The simple answer is: diet's do not work. They never have. And they never will. Sure, a diet may help you take off excess weight, but what happens when you go off the diet? When you resume the habits that cause you to resort to a diet, the weight will inevitably return. And possibly with a vengeance.

Everyone I know who has lost weight and kept it off has succeeded because of long term, long lasting changes to their eating and exercise habits. They all made a commitment to their health and stuck to it. They all eliminated fast food. They all avoid sugar. They all observe some form of portion control. And they all take part in some form of exercise three or more times a week. That's it. No complex formula. No magical devices. No hidden secrets.

So today's tip is suggest change is simple: Don't diet. You're wasting your time and money. Instead, change your lifestyle. And stick to the changes. This means eating better by avoiding fast food, sugar, and excess carbohydrates. And get active so you can burn off anything extra you might be consuming.

You can be healthy. You deserve it. And you can achieve it. But do it right. And in the long run, you'll be much happier.

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