Q&A: When diets work


The Question:

I read your book because a friend of mine told me it helped her the last time she was doing her slimming club. I don’t want to give up dieting because it works well for me. Once I’ve started I slip into that mentality really well and it works like a charm. I don’t struggle with it, I don’t have cravings or feel the urge to snack on pastries and chocolate (like I do when I’m not dieting).

So what I want to ask is can your method help me to improve my dieting skills, or can I use your advice only if I stop dieting? This is a really important question for me, so I hope this makes sense!

My Answer:

Whatever we might say about diets, they continue to sell newspapers and magazines like nothing else. Even though it’s well established that diets don’t work long term, that almost everyone regains any weight lost and often more, and that yo-yo dieting is worse for your health than staying at a higher weight – it’s clear that diets are here to stay!

The reason for this is that they do work. Not for ever, maybe just a few weeks or months, but for that time they can work very well, and that is their attraction. If you really want to get somewhere and there’s no other transportation, a car that breaks down now and then may be better than no car at all. It’s entirely understandable that you hope a diet will get you a few miles further down that weight-loss road.

I’ve had conversations with people who describe being on a diet as a state of bliss, where the diet, whatever it is, works brilliantly and effortlessly, and all problems around eating seem to have evaporated. They tell me they are at the seminar in an attempt to recreate this success.

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  1. Marilyn H

    I’ve been on diets that felt like being in a state of grace when it came to trigger foods, i.e., I just wasn’t tempted by them – and I’ve been on even more diets that felt like being in prison! You’re right that the learning curve only happens when we feel the freedom to truly CHOOSE what we eat, without having to PROVE that we’re free by eating everything! 🙂 Thanks for this post!

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