1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Reasons To Quit Dieting Forever


Updated June 16, 2010

Ever wonder why it's nearly impossible to stay on a diet and lose weight? There are many reasons most diets don't work and even more reasons to give up dieting forever and get on with your life. If you've tried more diets than you remember, it's time to give it up once and for all and reach your goals the old fashioned way: with a little exercise and some small changes.

1. Most Diets Don't Work

The problem with most weight loss diets is they're too specific to fit our lives. They tell you what to eat and how much, but don't take into account individual preferences, lifestyle, time constraints and likes and dislikes. Plus, they throw so much change at us that they're nearly impossible to follow for a long period of time. Remember that weight loss is a lifetime thing. The exception are diets that are more flexible, such as Weight Watchers (read ConsumerSearch's detailed review of Weight Watchers), which allows you to choose your own foods based on a point system.

2. Some Diets Are Ridiculous

Fad weight loss diets, such as the Cabbage Diet or the Hollywood Diet, use semi-starvation methods to promote weight loss which, if you didn't already know, is completely ridiculous. And it's bad for you too. Diets that restrict one or more of the food groups should top your list of diets to avoid since you'll be missing out on important nutrients and your weight loss will be temporary. Why waste your time?

3. Some Diets Are Unhealthy

Not all weight loss diets are unhealthy but some urge us to cut out entire food groups in order to lose weight. Scientists love to confuse us with conflicting studies about whether these diets are safe, but you don't need an expert to figure out that you need carbs, protein AND fat to be healthy. Diets too low in fat or calories aren't healthy and, if a diet is too restrictive, you won't follow it.

4. Diets Don't Always Fit Your Lifestyle

Most of us are busy and don't have time for the careful shopping, cooking and calorie-counting many weight loss diets require. If a diet calls for all kinds of things you don't have time for, how long do you think you'll be able to follow it? You can lose weight without counting calories by simply choosing lower calorie foods (an apple instead of a donut) and squeezing in a little exercise. If you do need a more structured approach, choose a diet that fits your lifestyle.

5. Diets Make You Feel Like a Failure

Many weight loss diets are so restrictive and complicated, you're almost guaranteed to fail. It helps to understand that tackling everything at once and changing your eating habits overnight will not work. In fact, you're sure to fail if that's the approach you take and it's not because you're a loser, either. Make small changes and take your time with weight loss. Give yourself time to change bad habits. If you are following a diet, choose one aspect of it to focus on until you've conquered it (e.g., work on eating a healthy breakfast and leave the other meals alone). Then move onto the next.

6. Diets Zap Your Pocketbook

Weight Loss diets are big business. Remember, the people who sell diet books have an agenda--to take your money and buy themselves a million=dollar mansion in Beverly Hills. Is anyone more interested in your health and happiness than you? No. So be skeptical of the infomercials and diet books out there. The 'diet gurus' don't always have your best interests at heart.

7. Diets Are Temporary

Lifetime health and fitness isn't an option with some extreme weight loss diets. Even if you do manage to follow a diet, you'll almost always give up on it when those cravings hit (and they will if you're restricting your food too much). This means you'll end up losing weight and gaining it right back which is a complete waste of your time. Don't you have better things to do?

8. Diets Sap Your Energy

The reason you lose weight on diets is because you drastically reduce your calorie intake. You may think this is good, but too little food means fatigue, low energy and it can even stall weight loss. Your body needs fuel for weight loss and if you don't get enough, your body will hoard every fat cell it can. Eat several small meals a day to stay satisfied and energetic.

9. Diets Give Food a Bad Rap

Weight loss diets usually restrict the foods you love to eat. When told you can't eat something, you become obsessed with not eating it-and that makes you crave it even more. Remember, foods aren't good or bad and you can eat what you love as long as you only do it occasionally. Eating is one of the great pleasures in life and you can enjoy it without guilt when you allow yourself treats now and then.

10. Diets Aren't the Answer for Everyone

For some people, weight loss diets offer great results, especially if they've found one that fits their lifestyle, budget and goals. However, weight loss diets aren't for everyone. If you have trouble staying on a diet, that doesn't mean there's something wrong with you or that you're doomed to fail. Consider other ways to cut calories or focus on changing one thing at a time, one day at a time. That approach may ease the pressure and allow you to ease your way into a new healthy lifestyle.
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Exercise
  4. Nutrition
  5. Reasons to Quit Weight Loss Diets Forever - Why Fad Weight Loss Diets Can Backfire

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.