Most people are making self promises to
skip skimp on the carbohydrates, jump on the treadmill more and eat more fruits and vegetables in an effort to meet their New Year’s resolution of being healthier and slimmer.
But, perhaps you should do the opposite of what you have done every year before now and make 2009 the year of the Un-Diet.
“The worst thing people can do when they are hoping to lose weight is to diet,” said Linda Bacon, PhD, a nutrition professor and author of the book “Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight.”
“Dieting appears to be the fastest way to pack on the pounds.”
Bacon says, countless research has found that dieting achieves the very opposite of the desired effect. It trains your body to store energy. When your body feels starved, your metabolism slows down and the result is a reduction in leptin, a hormone which stabilizes appetite control.
Bacon’s research and book are “an easy message for people to embrace,” she said. “It transcends weight and size. People are feeling hopeless. They are tired of self denial and self loathing. They are equally tired of false promises made by the diet industry.”
Like many young women, Bacon struggled with her weight and self-image growing up. She lost weight only to gain it back.
“I’m academically inclined, so the easiest way for me to attack my problem was through studying,” said Bacon. After earning her master’s degree in psychology she still wanted to understand her weight and wanted to be a better dieter.
It was after further study at UC Davis that her perspective shifted. She realized that everything she had previously learned was “not all science.”
She may have a “culturally acceptable body” now, but that’s irrelevant, she said. The message is to “lighten up and trust in yourself and when you eat. Eat foods you enjoy, learn about your hunger and don’t make certain foods off-limits."
Above all, she advises, don’t diet. Make 2009 the year of the Un-Diet. #