If you categorize foods as “good” and “bad” you’ve fallen prey to the diet industry’s misinformation program, and have started to ignore your body’s internal cues. Ignoring your internal signals is far worse than eating one of the foods that you may have put on your “S-list.”
Now the diet industry hasn’t been alone in convincing people to stop trusting their instincts and internal cues; diet “experts” and too many personal trainers have helped. The result is that a huge segment of the population has been turned into chronic dieters, and this kind of dieting has led to a whole host of eating disorders.
The worst eating disorder is chronic dieting. I’ll repeat for clarity; chronic dieting is an eating disorder. People who always are on a diet and are members of the “Diet de Jour Club” aren’t able to make their own, healthy choices with regard to what and how they eat.
There are a whole host of problems that result from chronic dieting, not the least of which is setting people up for failure. The dirty, big secret about the diet industry is that there are no diets that truly work. None. Not one commercially available diet can provide reliable statistics with regard to the guidelines set up by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Not one diet can provide valid stats that reveal:
- The percentage of all participants who complete it
- The percentage of participants completing the program who achieve various degrees of weight loss
- The proportion of that weight loss that is maintained at 1, 3, and 5 years after weight loss has occurred
- The type and severity of negative medical effects of dieting, and the number of participants who experienced them
Think about it. All of those diet books that have been churned out by the likes of Jillian Michaels, Bob Greene, and Dr. Phil and the rest of the so-called “experts” in the field don’t provide this kind of info for consumers. The programs designed and marketed by personalities are anecdote-based programs and have no basis in sound nutritional philosophy.
In one of her books, Jillian Michaels says that there is no such thing as will power, she tells her clients to throw away all “bad” foods like cookies, tells them to not watch commercials that might set off a craving for a “bad” food and to not taking routes on which fast food restaurants are passed so as to not give in to a craving. And this is just one recent example of how a “guru” strips people of their natural ability to control their appetites.
The problem is that the more diets people try to follow, the more failure that they’ll experience and this continued failure will continue to break down the individual, both emotionally and physically. How else can you explain the countless people who say, “Just tell me what to eat.” This is a complex problem that cannot be easily solved or addressed, and I certainly can’t fix anything in 600 words.
To get countless millions of people to stop relying on diets based on meaningless, disconnected external factors and guidelines is a monumental task. The first step in this journey is to recognize that our culture of dieting has royally screwed things up. If you’re a chronic dieter, take this step now. Turn off the experts, tune out the gurus and tune back into yourself.