Is it possible? Certainly, for some people, but far more people struggle with weight loss than who trot through their goals adding gold stars to their weight charts. In fact, I tend to discourage clients from “dieting” as frequent dieters tend to gain weight over time and experience stress. The article Why Diets Fail by a colleague from my PhD program at Cornell explains a few reasons why humans beings who live around other humans beings see their pants sizes stay the same… even when they are working hard. Kevin Klatt writes:

[Courtney Plush, R.D.,] explained some of the unique pitfalls of the “diet mentality.” She tells SELF that on one hand, weight loss diets work (in theory) because if you create a set of rules that reduce calorie intake, you will likely lose weight while you follow those rules. But (in practice), diets tend not to work because most people embark on caloric restriction for a set period of time. Once the diet “ends,” they’re likely to regain the weight. Diets frequently fail because “…they have an endpoint and are not real lifestyle change,” Plush says.

What to do when you are facing all these barriers? Great question. This is where working with people can help. Focus on why you are thinking about dieting.  Perhaps it’s a quality of life issue that may be address more effectively through other changes.  I often choose other approaches when working with clients– we focus on mindful eating, achieving health goals unrelated to the scale, and addressing gastrointestinal discomfort.  Often, increased awareness of eating habits can help you improve your blood pressure or cut back on medications.

Above all else, set reasonable goals. Change your habits. And get people on your side. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can help support you in developing a plan individualized to you.

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