Does dieting work? No doubt this is a question many of us struggle with, especially if we’ve seen them fail. In fact, we’d be willing to bet that if you have ended up on this page you are probably pretty frustrated with the dieting rigmarole.
You’re tired of roller-coasters and plateaus. You’re tired of bland food and apps that are supposed to help you monitor your progress. You’re tired of wondering if it’s just you, or if diets are just a pipe dream.
We hear ya! Really, we do! We have often pondered the same thing after various attempts and failures.
In truth, there have been some moments in which the frustration is so tangible we wondered if perhaps we could bottle that up as a metabolism booster.
We might have even considered allowing our splitting nails irritation to become an exercise alternative. We can assure you, we’re right there with you!
So, back to the question at hand, does dieting work? To answer this, let’s take a look at three popular dieting programs, their results and then as best as we can, let’s come to some sort of conclusion. Sound good? Great!
We’ve all seen the commercials, the Valerie Bertinelli and Kirstie Alley weight loss proofs, but, what’s the real deal?
Well, there is actually a study published in a reputable medical journal that indicates the average Jenny Craig participant loses 10 % of his/her initial weight and keeps it off for at least the next year.
Let’s see, 10% off our 221 lb. bodies means we’ll still be hanging in the 200 lb. range. Not exactly ideal! In addition, there’s the added cost of pre-packaged meals.
Yes, some people are perfectly content eating microwave-ables, but when you’re a mom of three with a hungry husband, these just aren’t going to cut it.
Who wants to eat zapped dinner while everyone else enjoys the cube steak, gravy and mashed potatoes (vegetables are in there somewhere too)?
Ultimately, if you’re only looking for minimal weight loss with just a one year guarantee, then sure, Jenny Craig can work for you.
Or, if you’re perfectly fine with zapped dinner by all means, try it out! However, long term, maintained weight loss isn’t a certainty as eventually you leave their meals and strike out on your own (and that cube steak dinner will be calling your name).
[Also Read: Does a High Protein Diet Help You Lose Weight?]
Robert Atkins isn’t around anymore to defend himself, but if his beliefs were accurate, they should stand the test of time!
In honesty, if you need to lose weight quickly, say because your 28 eight year old son is getting married and you want to look better than his future mother-in-law, this will definitely work!
Cutting carbs will help you drop weight quickly because calories are also being limited and there’s the potential for your body to go into ketosis.
Ketosis? Well, some think this is great as it makes the body burn fat instead of sugar (carbs) because you have all but eliminated them.
Others think it’s risky because you are ingesting far fewer carbs than are recommended and ketosis can cause some relatively serious side effects.
Overall, Atkins is fine for quick weight loss, but probably not going to be the best go to for maintaining that loss. Unless of course you’re fine with waving bye to the mashed potatoes and gravy.
This diet program would appear to be the most successful given some of the reports in reliable magazines.
In fact, one says that women who stay on the program for at least 9 months can lose between 10 and 28 pounds, while men are at 12 to 35 (they always seem to have it easier).
However, the standard recommended weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds a week. We’ll let you do the math to decipher how this program measures up.
The major differences in Weight Watchers versus other diet plans revolve around face-to-face meetings and point counting.
The point counting is designed to help you rearrange your lifestyle and eating habits (something necessary for continued and maintained weight loss).
Sadly, people get bored with all the diet stuff and end up falling off the weight loss wagon.
There has been some research to indicate that participating in support groups can aid in maintaining weight loss.
This is probably a major contributor to Weight Watcher participant success. While that’s great, we wonder how many people are going to stick to weigh-ins and weekly meetings.
Eventually those things start to eat into your time more than your gut.
So, Does Dieting Really Work?
That’s an excellent question, ladies and gentleman! Dieting can work if its intended purpose is to jump start a life change.
Whenever we limit ourselves, place restrictions on foods and intake, or pay big bucks to heat up someone else’s pre-packaged, preservative laced products, we will eventually get sick of it.
Who wants to eat bacon and eggs, every morning? Who wants to input points whenever he or she sits down to a meal? It gets old!
Dieting is only going to be successful, in reality and with prolonged results, when we cut calories and actually change the way we view food, weight and exercise.
Unfortunately, when we decide to diet it’s usually because we’ve taken one too many looks at a scale that has become more of an enemy than an appliance.
The numbers taunt us and the mirror chuckles. This is the catalyst to our Jenny-Atkins-Watchers diet endeavors.
While numbers don’t lie, they don’t always reveal the whole truth either. A muscle bound woman could readily weigh in over 200 lbs. but you’d never guess it.
So, before you freak out, think about dieting more as a health issue than a weight one. If your body is unhealthy it’s definitely time for a change.
That change then should incorporate increased activity as well as calorie monitoring behaviors. If you’ve taken to eating a donut before bed, cut that out!
If you spend all your time in front of the computer or on your iPad, get up and start walking!
Little changes can make a significant difference. The problem, it appears, is that we get discouraged far too quickly.
We live in a world that is so fast-paced they’ve added two lines to the drive-thrus. People are all about instant gratification; patience flew out the window with the postal service’s so-called-snail-mail.
When we don’t see immediate weight reduction we think dieting doesn’t work. It’s time for us to stop wimping out and stick to things for the long haul.
If you really want to lose weight, the best answer we have for you is that you are going to have to work at it. Nothing good comes easy, period.
We’d love to hear your comments, and/or dieting experiences, so feel free to share!