Why Diets Don’t Work
Most of you probably don’t think about control when it comes to food. When you’re hungry, you eat what you want. Sometimes it may be something healthful — other times, you may give in to your craving for some chocolate, potato chips, or a burger. Whatever you decide, you usually control what you eat or don’t eat. But when you join a weight loss program, that control is taken away from you. The program decides what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat. When someone else controls the way you eat, it’s very natural to rebel. As a result, most people end up breaking the diet they’ve started. When you don’t lose weight, you often blame yourself and feel like a failure. This can lead to depression and a negative body image. It can also lead to unhealthy attitudes toward food. In the end, you could end up feeling more obsessed with food and weight loss than ever before.
The most common practice in all weight-loss programs is the “weigh-in.” Every time you meet with a counselor or attend a meeting, you get on the scale to check if you’ve lost weight. And each time the number decreases, you are rewarded. Some Weight Watchers groups even hand out gold stars to people who have lost certain amounts. If you’re one of these people, you will feel like a good person. If you are in a group meeting, everyone claps and cheers at the weight you’ve lost. If you don’t lose weight, you may still receive support from the program. However, because so much emphasis is placed on the weight loss, you might feel like a failure or a “bad” person inside.