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Why does an all-or-nothing outlook lead to weight gain?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
In just about every other area of our lives, we allow ourselves margins for error. Baseball players who make outs 70 percent of the time are Hall of Famers. Basketball players need to make only half their shots to become all-stars. Lawyers don't win every case. Parents don't always make the right decisions. In fact, almost all of us in our daily jobs make mistakes—and we learn from them and try to correct them so we don't do it again and again, or at least figure how to minimize the damage.

But when it comes to diets, we hold ourselves to the precision of a Blue Angels flight team. No errors. No mistakes. Once we've blown it and deviated even an inch from our plan, that's it. We head back into the locker room, take off the uniform, get a shower, game's over. Diet's dead. Pass the fondue pot.

Research shows it's better for your health to not diet at all than to say you're dieting and steal spoonfuls of crème brulee during every commercial break. That's because diets typically promote weight cycling and yo-yo dieting (gaining and losing, gaining and losing), which is actually more hazardous to your health than keeping a steady overweight weight. (That's probably because most weight cyclers eventually gain more weight than they lost and suffer the slings of guilt and shame.)
YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

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YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

For the first time in our history, scientists are uncovering astounding medical evidence about dieting -- and why so many of us struggle with our weight and the size of our waists. Now researchers...

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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.