If I were to tell you that any time you get on a roller coaster, you have a 95% chance of sustaining a serious injury, would you ride? How about if I were to tell you that 95% of the people who go 10mph over the speed limit are killed in an accident, would you speed? My guess is that you would likely never go on a roller coaster or drive over the speed limit again. While those statistics are obviously made up to help illustrate a point, the following statistic I will share with you is true according to the National Eating Disorders Association’s website (NEDA; NationalEatingDisorders.org). This statistic is that 95% of all dieters will re-gain their lost weight within 1-5 years. Wow! How is it that we can have evidence like that which suggests diets overwhelmingly do not work in successfully losing and keeping off the weight, yet according to Livestrong, 45 million Americans go on a diet each year? For argument’s sake, let’s assume all of those 45 million people were successful with initially losing the weight, that would mean 42,750,000 of those will regain their lost weight no later than 5 years after. Why, with success rates like that, do Americans continue to believe that diets work?
According to Livestrong, Americans spend about $33 billion, yes BILLION, dollars each year on diet products. If the diet industry is making $33 billion a year, that’s just evidence of how successful their products are, right? Nope! Let’s think about this logically, if the diet industry were successful in fulfilling it’s claims made to consumers, they would be so successful that they would put themselves out of business. No one would need them any longer since the products and services they sell us would have worked the first time we bought them, and therefore Americans would no longer be in the relentless pursuit of losing weight.
So why do we keep buying into one of the worst schemes of our times? Easy, we fall into these traps because of really great marketing tactics that push us to believe in their false promises. Like those before and after pictures, or those commercials with the tan, thin and flawless girl in the bathing suit running on the beach with all the guys’ heads turning. First off, #1 reality of those commercials; no one runs that gracefully on the beach, it’s hard enough to walk on the sand! The #2 lie is the attempted sale of happiness, attractiveness and overall well-being that’ll come from what the diet industry has to sell you. As human beings, we crave happiness and well-being, and we want to be attractive. However, neither a diet nor the diet industry can give you that, but they know how to manipulate us because of those relatively universal desires. They may offer you a temporary fix, however it won’t last, the weight lost will be re-gained 95% of the time and the happiness will also wear down, not to mention the damage dieting does to your body because it is not a natural thing nor is it sustainable.
Our bodies are such powerful machines that can tell you everything you need to do to get to a size that is healthy for you. Unfortunately, we have been taught to ignore it in our culture that is not only food-obsessed, but diet-obsessed. Something that is initially hard, but does work much more often than diets ever will, is figuring out how to listen to your body again, eating intuitively, and pursuing mindful movement. I will address all of these in future posts. In the meantime, view the diet industry as what it is, a con-artist and diets a scam. Recognize that the pressure and desire to believe in what they’re selling you is just the work of really amazing marketing consultants that know how to appeal to you and how to play on your emotions. It’s not always easy to resist and we all get sucked into it sometimes. I’m hoping that this post can help bring the truth of these marketing ploys more to your awareness so that you can avoid falling victim to it’s plight.
Thank you for reading this and please share with whoever you think may find it helpful! If you have any questions, concerns or requests for future posts, please leave a comment or message me privately.
I wish you the awareness of truth on your journey to finding your State of Balance!
Binge And Restrict Cycle
Eating Disorder Specialist
Healthy Self Vs. Eating Disorder