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Do Diets Work?

Do diets work on their own?
"I lost a lot of weight on my diet. But it all came back again after".

Image courtesy of  BlackRiv at Pixabay.

Most weight-loss diets work short-term, because they generally involve cutting calories consumed below calories used. Whatever the superficial, and sometimes ridiculous, rationale for each diet, if you consume fewer calories than you expend, then you will lose weight.

None of the diets works in the long - term for most people. Over 90% of those who have lose weight on a diet put it all back on again within 3 to 5 years. 80% of them will put all the weight on again within one year, which is discouraging!  Generally, people who have lost weight on a diet subsequently put on more weight than they had lost.

Reason For Regaining Weight Lost on a Diet

Exactly why lost weight should be regained is open to debate. Many consider metabolism to be the cause, as it adjusts to what it sees as looming starvation. In fact, many overweight or obese people attribute all their weight problems to slow metabolism. This is often the reason they give for why they are unable to maintain a reduced weight after a diet and also for why they became overweight in the first place. Most experts discount metabolism as a significant factor in weight problems, unless there is a rare medical condition present. The Mayo Clinic, for example says:

"How much you weigh really depends on the number of calories you eat and how much physical activity you get."  (See here.)

If weight has been lost on a diet, but then is put back on again after, there is a fairly simple-seeming explanation. The diet finished and people went back to consuming more calories than they were burning. Possibly, when they finished their diet, they had a big splurge, to celebrate. Or they felt it was no longer necessary for them to watch their weight. They had got used to eating smaller amounts. Slowly but surely their consumption crept up again Sugar came back in a big way, as well as manufactured foods. The brisk half hour walks in the evening were first reduced, then abandoned. And so on. Until their weight was back to where it was before the diet.

There is a solution. Read on!

How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

Do diets work only in the short term, then?

A diet will usually help you lose weight. It must be so, because they are nearly all involve simply eating and drinking less calories. Often, they are dressed up with a very learned-sounding rationale. It is interesting, however, that the rationale for their diet is often accompanied by a particular piece of advice. This advice refers to cutting consumption and increasing exercise during the diet. If you simply ignore the diet and concentrate on cutting consumption and increasing exercise, then you will lose as much weight as you would have done with the diet. In most cases. Many diets are scams, with promises that cannot be fulfilled safely or at all. "Guarantees" of large amounts of weight loss in a short time, say.

How then do we overcome the seeming inevitability of regaining all the weight we may lose on a diet? Avoiding the frequently endless cycle ofdiets, the search for the diet that works?

There is realistically only one way that is likely to achieve a permanent weight loss. 

The Mediterranean Diet

"Diet" here is to be understood in its other meaning. The habitual way of eating of a particular group of people. Not what they eat (and drink) if they go on a diet to lose weight,  but what they eat and drink most of the time.

A Mediterranean diet will not of itself generally lead to weight loss. Yet, it makes losing weight easier than normal, because it includes foods that not only taste good, but are very filling. For the same reason, once you have reached your desired weight, the Mediterranean diet will help you stay there. It should be considered part of a modified life-style - a life-style that will not only lead to the best weight but also to general good health.

It is ironic that just when a large part of the world has discovered the tremendous benefits of the traditional diets of Spain, Italy, Greece and the honorary member, Portugal, those countries have been abandoning their traditional diet. They have been increasing their consumption of junk foods and decreasing the healthy, nutritious and delicious foods that they traditionally consumed. The result has been soaring overweight and obesity in these countries.

So, when we recommend the Mediterranean Diet in this website, we refer to the traditional one. The one that was simple, healthy, and delicious and included little junk food. Because of the foods in it, it also helped to control weight .

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