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Published on January 16, 2019

5 reasons to no go on a diet in 2019

5 reasons not to go on a diet in 2019 (or, like ever)

  • Diets do not work. What is your motivation for going on a diet? So you can lose weight? So you can get healthier? Regardless of what your reasoning is, you will not achieve your desired outcome by going on a diet or attempting to lose weight. 95 percent of people who lose weight will gain it back (and usually more). That means that dieting has about the same "curative" rate as metastatic lung cancer.
  • Dieting punishes your body for doing what it is supposed to do. Let's face it, your body is smarter than you. It was designed to keep you alive at all costs. Regardless of your reasoning for starting a diet, your body responds as if it is in a famine. It will start cutting corners within your system to make itself more efficient at doing more with less calories. This will result in more weight stored, which is the opposite of what you wish to achieve with your diet but exactly what you’d hope for if you were in an actual famine.
  • When your diet fails (which it will, 95 percent of the time), you will feel like a failure. But you are not a failure! I repeat, you are NOT a failure! It is the diet that failed, not you. Diets are designed to fail, for all the reasons described above. This vicious cycle will keep you coming back time and time again in the hopes that you'll "just be able to stay motivated this time!" It is not a failure of motivation, it is a failure of utilizing a solution that doesn’t actually treat the root cause of the problem.
  • Dieting reinforces weight stigma and the idea that thinner is better. Would you be satisfied with your diet if you did not lose any weight? No, of course not! So regardless of whether you tell yourself that the purpose of your diet is to "get healthier," the real reason you’re doing it is to change your body size. Let me be clear: large bodies do not equal unhealthy bodies. In fact, forcing larger bodies to become thin can actually make them unhealthy as a result. You do not get to choose your weight. You get to choose what you eat and how much you move. Let your body choose the rest.
  • You are amazing, and your body is fierce and neither you nor your body need to be fixed before you are deserving of love. Read that sentence again. How do you feel? The message of the diet mentality is typically the opposite of the one described above: that you are a failure and your body is wrong and you need someone else's help to fix it so that you can love it. How do you feel reading that? Probably not very confident. Probably not very powerful. Probably not very deserving. You absolutely should fuel yourself with nourishing food and move your body in a way that brings you joy. But not because you want to change its size – because you, my friend, have a lot to contribute to this world and you need a lot of energy to do those things!
Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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