Diet Myth Exploded

Another Myth Exploded — Dieting Does Not Work

UCLA researchers report that diets generally do not help people lose weight and keep it off. In general, people initially lose 5 percent to 10 percent of their weight on any given of diets, but then gain it back, often with some additional pounds as well.

The information is the result of a comprehensive and rigorous analysis of 31 long-term diet studies.

The researchers concluded that most people would be better off not going on a diet at all.

The initial 5 percent to 10 percent loss generally occurs during the first six months. However, up to two-thirds of dieters then regain more weight than they lost within four or five years. Also, since diet studies are frequently self-reported or have poor follow-up rates, the number of people who regained weight may be even higher than the studies indicate.

Dieting is actually a consistent predictor of future weight gain; one study showed that those who participate in formal weight-loss programs gain significantly more weight over a two-year period than those who had not participated in a weight-loss program. Other studies have shown similar results.

Instead of formal diets, the researchers recommended eating in moderation and regular exercise. Exercise may be the key factor leading to sustained weight loss.

Science Daily April 5, 2007

Dr. Mercola’s Comment:

I’ve talked a lot before about the fallacy of dieting, and how often patients gain pounds and inches rather than losing them. A recent analysis of 31 studies by researchers at UCLA has confirmed losing weight through dieting doesn’t lead to sustained weight loss or any health benefits for most patients.

No surprise, the lead researcher concurred with a growing number of experts, including me, who believe healthier eating in tandem with exercise is the key to safe and sustained weight loss and better health.

The simplest way to make the transition to healthier eating: Consume the foods your body burns best according to your unique metabolic typeIn terms of exercise, be mindful to regard it like a drug that must be prescribed precisely to do the most good.

I’ve devoted many pages on my Web site to the wonderful benefits exercise will do for your health. If you need some direction to get started, please consider reviewing my beginner’s exercise page that includes links to other pages and a free table you can download to keep track of your progress.