Why dieting usually doesn’t work

This morning I watched a video I thought I was going to enjoy.

It’s scientist Sandra Aamodt giving a presentation on “Why dieting doesn’t work.” Total click bait for me.

She begins the presentation with: I gave up dieting, starting mindful eating, and lost 10 pounds!

Not the most promising start.

And in fact, during points of her presentation, I was downright angry.

She was giving me all the facts I already knew:

From losing a lot of weight, my metabolism has slowed, meaning that I would forever have to eat less than a person who weighed the same as me naturally.

Diets don’t work. The biggest predictor of weight gain is a diet.

But she also gave some points to feel good about:

People who are obese but eat fruits and vegetables, exercise three times a week, don’t smoke, and practice moderation with alcohol have no greater risk of dying because of their weight than a person at normal weight.

A few weeks ago I did a biometric screening at work – now let me preface this by saying right now I’ve gained back about half of the weight I lost, and not feeling so hot about it – and the woman doing my screening looked at my weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar and deemed me very healthy.

Um, what?

Even though I’ve gained weight back, I’ve consistently (with a month or two off here and there) kept up the habits of exercising and eating lots of veggies. That’s something to feel good about.

There’s a lot of times where I feel like I failed because I gained weight back.

But like I talked about in my last post, my job is not to control the outcome, my job is to do the work. For me that means exercising daily and continuing to investigate and work on my triggers for binge eating.

If I’m attached to the outcome, then it becomes a diet, and then slip-ups become failures, If I’m not attached to the outcome, It’s me living the best life possible, and using my happiness – not my weight – as whether I’m succeeding or not.

Eating sugar does not make me happy. Cooking for myself makes me happy.

Binge watching Netflix does not make me happy. Being outdoors and moving makes me happy.

Waking up at 3 a.m. with the spins from a night of drinking doesn’t make me happy. Enjoying a glass or two of wine with good friends makes me happy.

Happiness has nothing to do with weight, and if that’s the message Sandra Aamodt is preaching, then she can have my full support.

 

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