If diets don’t work, who cares what you eat?
How often have we thought that?
Have you thought about this though? The problem is not the diet. It’s the mindset indicated by this thinking.
The idea that diets don’t work is not new. Not only does the devil on your shoulder tell you your diet’s never going to work long term. Almost everyone thinks so.
You didn’t think we were going to say that, did you.
What keeps the weight off is longer term lifestyle support programmes, like the Diabetes Prevention Programme. These approaches help people to manage their weight and lifestyle over the long term. And this helps people to look after their health. Their blood pressure remains lower. Diabetes can be prevented and has even been reversed, ie put into remission.
The importance of such programmes is enormous:
· 3.4 million people have Type 2 Diabetes
· It can be prevented through lifestyle changes.
So don’t think of it as being perpetually on a diet. Look for ways to develop and sustain healthier long-term patterns for living. An overall lifestyle approach in which diet and exercise play a role.
As conscienhealth points out:
“Intensive behavioural programs come in many different forms, but the ones that work are ones that focus on sustainable changes and long-term outcomes.”
Weight Watchers has always done this, now formally rebranding itself as a lifestyle support programme. The Mediterranean diet is well thought of and brings significant health benefits. Adopting its few key principles is not difficult to sustain in the long term.
We’re not saying ignore short-term intensive diets because they have their place too, to get things started and keep people motivated. Our recent blogs on ‘total diet replacements’ outline the most recent research on this, reported in the BMJ.
They mindset change that’s needed is to accept that “when the treatment stops, the condition returns.” Don’t be surprised that some or all of the weight will go back on. We know that people do gain weight after dieting. Whatever diet they do. So if we know that, let’s plan for it, accept what it takes, and get dug in for the long haul.
It takes effort to maintain weight loss and most people need behavioural support.
Practically Slim offers both. We have diets to get you started, weight maintenance to help you continue, and behavioural change support offered by our lovely coaches. Because we agree with National Obesity Care Week in the States – behavioural change and lifestyle support programmes are vital tools to sustaining health and wellbeing.