Why do people diet even though chances of success are low?

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"Dieting" (which rarely works in the long term by the way) can give a person struggling with weight issues a sense of "control" in the short term (eat this...not that at this time of day in this quantitity etc etc.).  Few people want to take on the much larger issue of WHY they eat the way they do and make lifestyle changes that are permanent.  In addition, dieting claims often promise quick results and diets are often undertaken in an attempt to get into shape for an event (wedding, party, reunion), rather than to make a meaningful and sustainable switch. In fact, there is support for the fact that dieting is one of the leading contributors to the development of eating disorders.  Diets can feel "hopeful" and controllable - sadly they often just result in odd rules and rituals around food that are unsustainable, frustration, and the onset of a cycle of yo-yo dieting that harms metabolism even more and makes it even more difficult to lose weight down the line. 

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Dieting For Weight Loss

Dieting For Weight Loss

Losing weight quickly is OK as long as you do it safely, not through a crash diet. You can lose three or more pounds a week by burning more calories than you eat. If you burn an extra 500 calories per day through eating less and i...

ncreasing your physical activity, you can lose about one to two pounds of fat per week. Dietitians recommend a daily minimum of 1,200 calories per day (a 200-pound person might need 1,400 calories). Anything less makes you lose muscle as well as fat, which slows your metabolism. Instead, minimize your intake of starches, added sugars like high fructose corn syrup and animal fat from dairy and meats. Focus on eating fruits and vegetables, soy products, egg whites, skinless poultry breasts, shellfish and fish, nonfat dairy foods and meat that is 95 percent lean. Drink lots of water, don't skip meals, and eat only from a plate while seated at a table.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.