If you find that your jeans are a little tight, or that your waistline is steadily increasing in circumference, you may decide that you want to drop a few pounds. If you do indeed decide to lose weight, as soon as you mention it to somebody, the first thing they’ll tell you to do is to go on a diet. Losing weight sucks, it is difficult, the food is bland, it takes a lot of time, and it can leave you feeling physically and mentally drained in the process. What’s more, we’re here today, to tell you that diets do not work. But wait, they do work because many of us have followed some form of diet plan in the past and have found ourselves losing a significant amount of weight, so surely diets do work? Well, according to recent statistics, alarmingly, 95% of people that lose weight on a diet, will gain back all of the weight in less than a year, plus a little bit extra. So, what’s the story? Well, let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a look at a few reasons why diets don’t work.

Diets slow down weight loss

If you ask people to name a conventional diet plan, more often than not, the first thing that springs to mind is a low fat, low calorie diet. These diets basically result in us literally starving ourselves, so that we end up constantly hungry and, well, starving. This in turn suppresses the metabolism, due to the fact that the body has entered starvation mode. This means that it desperately tries to cling onto what little energy it has, so it slows down. This results in us having less energy and burning off fewer calories. The body knows that it needs its fat for energy, and so by slowing down the metabolism, fewer calories are burnt off meaning that you lose less weight. Yes, ironically, by starving ourselves, we are actually making it much harder for us to actually lose weight and get in shape in the first place.

Poor portion control

Another downside to diets, is that they don’t teach us about balance and portion control. Most diets are super-low in calories and so portions are very small, as the idea is to create a caloric deficit. The problem with small portion sizes is the fact that these are not representative of real life. The second that people finish their diets and go back to their regular ways of eating, their portion sizes increase dramatically. This results in them going from one extreme to the other. They go from small portions to huge portions, and you can guess what the outcome is after that. Rather than starving ourselves with miniscule portions, we should instead be looking to make healthy dietary choices and to consume more nutrient-dense foods that nourish us from within.

They promote binge-eating

Binge-eating is one of the unhealthiest things we can put our bodies through, yet many of us do exactly that, shortly after finishing a diet. When people follow a fad diet, they normally find themselves hungry, and craving unhealthy junk food that they know they aren’t allowed. As soon as they end their diet, either because they have reached their target, or through sheer hunger alone, the first thing they will do is binge eat and stuff their faces with all of the junk that they deprived themselves of for so long. Rather than a healthy dinner, followed by a small bowl of ice cream, or a small dessert, people instead are more likely to consume an entire tub of ice cream, or several slices of cake, and eat until they feel physically sick.

Diets aren’t sustainable

If you want to lead a healthy and happy life, while keeping yourself in great shape, sustainability is key. Yet another downside to diets is the fact that they aren’t sustainable. People don’t see diets as sustainable, they see them as a quick fix for when they need to drop a few pounds to be able to fit into a new dress perhaps? As they aren’t sustainable, this basically means that the second you come off of them you are likely to begin piling on the pounds once more. Rather than looking for quick fixes, we should look for sustainable healthy eating plans that allow us to eat tasty, wholesome, healthy foods, with the odd treat thrown in now and then. By making healthy eating a lifestyle, as opposed to just being a quick fix, we find that we can steadily lose weight, without making ourselves feel miserable in the process.