May 2017

Does Dieting Work?

Dieting has taken the world by storm since the rise of celebrity endorsed schemes and mass produced dieting products in the western world, a good example being the Atkins diet that soared in popularity throughout the early 1990s. Whether or not you follow celebrity dieting advice or the best-selling books charts dieting has also effected everyday people and become something of a buzzword with those looking to improve their health, body image or lose weight. Obesity is the prime target for dieting and the reason that so many people take them on, but are they effective, and is dieting the only option?



Scientific studies and their results may surprise you. Across a range of different diets, UCLA and Medicare in the USA both found that the majority of their candidates did not sustain weight loss over the course of their diets. At the start 5 to 10% of body weight may be lost, but it is soon regained as the body adjusts in many cases. Their studies did not pick out specific aspects of diets that yielded these results but instead focussed on the psychological factors that come into play. For example, others have reported that ‘crash dieting’ – dieting very quickly and suddenly – often has better results because of the rewards that become evident earlier on, thus encouraging the dieter to continue. These however can also be dangerous due to the fast changes your body must go through, and if they are given up you will more than certainly gain weight rapidly.

There are however some common factors between such diets, effective or not, that we can all learn from if we want to live a healthy lifestyle. Low sugar intake is one of them, as sugar not only effects the blood but can play a role in the ageing of the skin. Likewise cutting out trans fats is crucial to avoiding obesity and excess weight. Finally and perhaps most importantly all the diets included in these studies put a focus on vegetables. Cutting down on milk, cheese and meat whilst upping the greens has long been a champion for the proprietors of dieting tactics.



There are of course other options that must be included in order for a diet to work, or things that can be considered alternatives to dieting altogether. Regular exercise is one, and this is essential to the maintenance of a healthy heart and blood pressure amongst other things. Many thousands of people also turn to plastic surgery to seek help with their weight. Procedures like liposuction, gastric balloon, fat transfer and more are now the staples of cosmetic surgeons around the world and are sought out on an extremely high basis. An important thing to remember is that the right choice only depends on you and your physical situation. Always seek advice from a professional before attempting any serious changes, but in the meantime it is safe to assume that staying fit and healthy with your food choices can do you no harm.