On today’s episode we are going to be talking about the stats behind why people say diets don’t work but also go into the emotional side of dieting - because even with these groundbreaking stats proving that diets don’t work (and they are actually harmful) - dieting is still a multi billion dollar industry with lifelong returning customers.
Facts don’t sway people; emotions and beliefs do.
We, as a culture, believe that thinness is better and should always be the goal, that weight loss is about health and to think otherwise is promoting an unhealthy lifestyle and body size.
NO amount of statistics showing this isn't true changes anything.
Our beliefs and emotions around weight prevent us from taking statistics seriously.
Let's dive in and show you what we mean.
STAT: 95% of diets fail and most will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years
Emotion: Some things that might prevent a person from accepting this fact and using it to decide what to do next (quit dieting), are the time and money already invested in losing weight and the hope that that NEXT diet will work -- and why do we want it to work so badly? Our society treats those in thinner bodies better, we praise people working at losing weight and criticise weight gain and fat bodies.
To say that the diets arent going to work is TRUE but it isn’t what people want to hear.
STAT: 35% of “occasional dieters” progress into pathological dieting, (disordered eating) and as many as 25%, advance to full-blown eating disorders
Emotion: We hold a belief that this would never happen to us, we’re just being balanced, trying to be “healthy”, doing it in a gentle way, we’re not this extreme. But the truth is that it’s a slippery slope. The hope that dieting gives us, blinds us to the many dangers of dieting and reaffirms the messaging that says that pursuing weight loss is going to solve many health issues (when in fact dieting often has little affect on health positively, particularly long term, but it does put many people at risk).
STAT: Dieting is a consistent predictor of weight gain.
Emotion: Because we so deeply believe that restriction and dieting are what keep us in control, many people see their weight gain overtime as their “fault” and they believe that if they DIDN’T diet they would have gained even more weight over this time. Dieting is so sneaky because we are told its the right thing to do, that we need to control ourselves around food and that we cannot be trusted. But we dont trust ourselves BECUASE of the physical and psychological toll of restriction! It is a vicious cycle that our deep ingrained beliefs prevent us from seeing.
STAT: A recent government survey indicated that over half the “overweight” adults
(51.3%) being targeted are metabolically healthy, and one in four “normal weight”
(23.5%) metabolically unhealthy adults are overlooked.
Emotion: As a society, we have hung our hats on weight so heavily that it has become the #1 marker for health. It makes things easier for humans, who LOVE order and control. Weight simplifies health - it makes us believe we can control our weight, therefore our health, therefore our destiny and mortality. This sense of control is VERY emotional - realizing that weight isnt what we thought it was makes the idea of health and being the decider of our own wellness destiny slip through our fingers, people dont want that so they choose to hold on to the idea that weight is our personal responsibility and that in turn controls our health.
STAT: Weight and BMI are poor predictors of disease and longevity. The
bulk of evidence suggests that five pounds “underweight” is
more dangerous than 75 pounds “overweight.”
Emotion: Thinness at all costs has become the norm in our culture. We say it’s about health but if you ask someone if they would work this hard at dieting if it improved their cholesterol levels but didn’t change the way their body looked I’m pretty sure 99% of people would say no. The emotion behind belonging -- ego -- appearance -- acceptance is SO deeply ingrained. It blinds us to the truth - making this work very difficult because we need to tap into people’s emotions to make any change at all.
Which is why it’s so important to publicly share our struggles with dieting, food, body acceptance and self love. To show that this is NORMAL to struggle because it doesnt work. To show that we’re all in this mess together and there is an alternative that is so freeing and enjoyable that someone is motivated to see the facts for what they are because the truth is emotional too.
We are currently interviewing a lot of amazing people and experts for our upcoming documentary - Behind the Before and After: Our Obsession with Weight is Anything but Healthy. The emotion in their stories will help a lot of people break through the information and see the truth behind the power of wellness without the obsession and breaking free from the focus on weight.
That will be out early 2021.
In the meantime we would LOVE for you to join us LIVE on a free Wellness Without the Obsession Workshop we are hosting on October 14th at 5 pm pac, 8 pm est. We will be sharing the vital components of wellness without the obsession, how to start and why it’s important.
This is a great fit for anyone who has been undieting for a little while but they dont know how to tune into wellness while never going back to dieting or the diet mentality.
You can grab your spot in the free workshop at bit.ly/wwtoworkshop
Love, Lauren and Jenna