Why Diets are a Terrible Idea

By Tena Daniel, MS RDN CSSD LD CDE

If you are thinking about going on a diet for weight loss, I want to let you in on the biggest secret for your success: JUST DON’T DO IT!
Consider what you find if you search online under the definition of “diet.” The top result from google reads, “restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.” The definition offers these word-usage phrases: “It’s difficult to diet” and “She dieted for most of her life.” It also offers these synonyms: to eat sparingly, to lose weight, to reduce, to slenderize.

With all the deprivation and restrictions inherent to “dieting,” the experience can be miserable. And consider this: Dieting rarely leads to fat loss that can be maintained long-term. The hardest thing about losing weight isn’t losing it but keeping it off. Most people can shed a few pounds here and there, but unless the approach is sustainable, that weight usually comes back on – and then some.

In fact, studies show that only one in seven Americans have managed to lose 10 percent of their weight and keep it off long term.
The holiday season is often one of excess – rich foods and slow days spent with friends and family promise expanding Santa bellies. It is no coincidence that the top two New Year’s resolutions are “stay fit” and “lose weight.” The guilt of holiday meals crushes in on us as the new year begins!

So it is that dieting is often treated like an emergency. The focus becomes how quickly one can lose pounds on the scale. But this is exactly what you should not do. Diets cause an individual’s metabolism rate to slow down by hundreds of calories a day. Studies show that the quicker you lose weight, the more your metabolism rate may drop, even if you are exercising.

So what can we do?

Milestones offers a refreshingly different approach to weight management.

The Just Don’t Diet program at Milestones is based on decades of scientific evidence – and it really works! Studies have shown that the use of highly structured meal plans is helpful in achieving health goals.

But it can’t just be a “one size fits all“ menu. For success, you have to LOVE what you EAT!

At Milestones, the working philosophy is this: Tell people exactly what to eat, but make sure they love it.
There’s plenty of appeal to being told what to do, especially if the results are a good meal. It simplifies our lives if we don’t have to choose all the time. We can also rest assured that we aren’t going to stumble into any bad habits, whether because we are working too hard and are short on time or because we are having a day, that may lead to a week, of feeling unmotivated about our own health.

An outside perspective, a little push helps us make the right decisions. That’s why one of the most popular services Milestones offers is called JUST TELL ME WHAT TO EAT.

You tell us the foods you LOVE, and our registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) creates menus for you based on your personal goals, calorie needs and metabolism as well as the amount of carbohydrate, protein and fat you need. It really isn’t just all about calories.

Keeping off the excess pounds long-term is difficult for most people because the human diet requires certain nutrient-rich foods and adequate nutrition, often at even lower calorie levels than when you began losing the weight.

Well, fret not. We figure all of these factors out for you. Forget calorie counting. We’ll do the numbers. You just focus on being healthy.

Leave a Reply