Do all diets fail? Yes… and no.
In studies of weight loss on different diets it’s this phenomenon that is almost always visible. First a big drop in weight, lasting for six months or so, and then a regain. A common interpretation is that diets only work for a while, then they suddenly stop working.
I think this interpretation is wrong, and that there is a good reason why.
I’m reminded of this reading a new blog post by the fantastic Dr. Jason Fung – All Diets Fail – How to Lose Weight XI. I recommend his blog and lectures (although if you wait just a few weeks you can see the latter in much better quality). This time however, I don’t agree with everything in his blog.
It’s common to say that the reason people regain weight after a diet is that the body has a “body weight set point.” Presumably this setpoint will make the body regain any lost weight naturally, and thus conventional advice on diets is more or less useless for the long-term.
A Simpler and More Hopeful Explanation
I think there is a much simpler explanation that makes much more sense – and it’s also more hopeful:
Diets only work when you follow them. If you revert to your old habits again you’ll revert to your old body weight again. And nothing is easier than falling back into old habits.
Check out what really happened in the study shown at the top: Continue Reading →