You’ve been lied to and here’s the proof.

Content warning: Use of those crappy “O” words often used to define health and disparage because citing research.

Moving away from diets can feel like a salmon swimming against the stream.

Keep in mind: even though the struggle is tough for the fish, they are doing what is innate and true. Opting out of diet culture in the long term will bring you health and peace through your own innate wisdom.

We have been lied to. Researchers know that diets don’t work for most people.

A 2007 study reviewed outcomes from long-term calorie controlled diet plans to determine if they were a successful way to treat “obesity.” The researchers found 1/3 to 2/3 of dieters regained more weight than was lost. Further, dieters did not experience any significant health improvements (Mann et al 2007 and Bacon and Aphamor 2011).

Several twin studies have considered whether genetics has a part in weight gain from dieting. A 2012 twin study (K H Pietiläinen, S E Saarni, J Kaprio and A Rissanen 2012), found a dieting twin to be 2 to 3 times more likely to be “overweight” than his non-dieting twin. Even more, they found the more one dieted they more they weighed!

Did you know dieting predicts weight gain?

Dr. Deb Burgard, eating disorder psychologist, has said, “Instead of the weight loss industry we need to call it the Weigh Cycling Industry.”

Weight cycling is another term for yo-yo dieting. Have you tried a diet, lost weight, and then regained in all back?

Did you regain more?

After a break, did you start another diet then lose weight?

But, after a period of time, did you notice the weight crept back on?

If you identify with this process you have weight cycled. Your weight going up then down then up again leads to poorer health. Research has found weight cycling to promote high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high insulin levels, and high blood sugar. Dieting has been associated with food obsessing, binge eating, and eating outside of hunger (Haines & Neumark-Sztainer 2006).

Instead of helping you keep weight off, improve your health, and help you feel better about yourself dieting contributes to your binge eating and weight gain. Moving away from dieting will move you closer to Food Peace™.

There is no research to date that shows any diet keeps weight off for more than one year. Most research articles on health benefits of weight loss stop the study at one year or earlier.

When you’ve dieted, did you find you could do the diet plan for 12 weeks or 6 months? Then, soon thereafter, you “fell off the wagon”? Research on weight loss show success and health improvements at 3 and 6 months too.

Keep this in mind: you are not the exception rather the rule.

Weight loss doesn’t work for most people long-term. Research supports this.

You didn’t fail, the diet did.

Weight loss is a seductive fantasy…here’s why.

Last week I wrote about body respect beginning with no longer pursuing weight loss. You may recall I mentioned weight loss is a seductive fantasy.

If you’ve been told your whole life your body is unacceptable, I appreciate this first step away from weight loss will feel like a deal breaker. I beg you to hold on and hear me out.

One thing is for sure: what you’ve learned so far about food and weight has brought you to this chaotic relationship with food. If you keep reading and apply this information to where you are now, I think it will empower you differently. Plus, you always have the diets to go back to in case you no longer want to pursue Food Peace (although I am hoping you don’t choose this!).

I think the pursuit of weight loss is a seductive fantasy. The weight loss quest gives you hope. Prior to the official start of every diet or food change, you make your food lists and your mind may feel clearer. The idea of starting a diet may even feel safer than moments before. I believe the start of a diet engages your mind in a daydream filled with hope, happiness, acceptance, and peace.

This is the fantasy.

This is the reality: we all are not meant to be thin or with a body mass index of 20 to 25. Your body prefers you to weigh a certain amount, your set point. From genetics and past behaviors, your body will be inclined to experience certain behaviors in order to get back to that set point after gaining or losing weight.

Do you experience cravings, binging, or food obsessions?

These behaviors occur after the body has been without consistent nutrition and not from you failing another diet.

It is you being a successful human.

If your weight is higher than some recommend, I bet you have focused on weight loss most of your life. What if the diet is promoting your weight gain, food obsession, and poor health?

What if the diet was to blame not you?

I hope this note helps you hold off on starting a diet in 2019. More on why soon.

Warmly,

Julie

It’s not body love or acceptance that’s first, it’s respect.

“If diets work for you, why do you keep going on them?”

If you are considering making 2019 diet free, let’s gather important intel to help you get through January aka The National Dieting Holiday.

When was your first diet?

Do you remember how you got the idea to start eating less, focus on weight loss, and exercise more?

Did someone say your thighs were getting too big?

Were you teased on the playground as the fat classmate?

Did the pediatrician tell your parents to stop giving you seconds?

When were you taught how to hate your body?

How long have you considered your body unacceptable?

Appreciating how body hate and rigid dieting started will help you begin your journey toward Food Peace. This first part of your healing will feel emotional and challenging yet I encourage you to stick with it. I see how the diet industry and health care providers have pushed you to lose weight and with each diet ending you felt (and feel) like a failure. This cycle is not your fault because you were given faulty tools. And these tools hurt your body and the way you relate to it.

In order to heal, take a step back and acknowledge these faulty tools. Consider how they were not respecting your body. Instead of dieting in 2019, I encourage you turn your focus to body respect.

What is body respect?

Popular social media memes tell you to love and accept your body. Most people I work with say they cannot love their body because it is unacceptable. Caring health care providers, parents, and friends have ingrained the idea that fat is unhealthy. Schoolyard bullies taught you your body deserves to be mocked and ugly. Insurance companies and employers blame you for increasing health care costs.

Every aspect of your existence has taught you your body needs to be fixed. The message has been clear: the only way to be acceptable is to eat less and exercise more. And you have spent your whole life trying and failing and trying and failing.

Body respect challenges these messages.

Your body is not unacceptable, ugly, or unworthy. Your body does not need to be fixed.

The messages are wrong not your body. It is time for you to know the truth about how you’ve learned to take care of your body and how cultural messages have harmed your relationship with food. Learning this key tool of Respect sets the foundation for your journey toward Food Peace. It provides the reasons why diets don’t work, how they contribute to your diet rock bottom, and how to start healing.

The Food Peace journey begins with its first steps: deciding to stop pursuing weight loss.

Because weight loss is a seductive fantasy.

I will share more on this seduction next week.

Warmly,

Julie