Dietitians and health experts are moving away from the idea of “being on a diet,” and instead encouraging people to not diet at all.
In a recent Washington Post story about the growing popularity of the “nondiet dietitian,” author and registered dietitian Cara Rosenbloom wrote that diets do not work, and have minimal long-term success. Fad eating trends and celebrity-endorsed diets often offer misleading information, setting most people up for failure.
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Since dietitians know this, Rosenbloom said, more and more are moving away from the term “dieting” and helping clients develop realistic eating plans based on their own lifestyles.
“Diet is so individualized, and what works really well for one person may not work for someone else,” Rosenbloom said to Global News. “ dietitians… help you find the right eating plan that matches your specific needs based on your lifestyle, based on your income level, the amount of time you have to cook and prepare meals.”
“There’s so many variables to take into account to figure out the right way for you to eat that it’s impossible to read that in a book or online.”
Why diets don’t work
Trendy diets don’t work for most people because they aren’t sustainable and practical, said Jane Dummer, a registered dietitian and consultant. Many diets are based on food restrictions and focus on weight loss as the ultimate goal, which isn’t realistic for everyone.
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“There is an abundance of misinformation about food and nutrition in our current environment from celebrities to bloggers; it’s very easy to have a platform without substantiated information,” Dummer told Global News. “Often, people need to be educated about different dietary patterns and the tactics on how to incorporate positive actions into their lives.”
Plus, Rosenbloom said the whole concept of “going on a diet” enforces the idea that you need to temporarily “fix” your eating patterns to lose weight. When, in reality, health goals are achieved through long-term changes.
Dummer agreed that viewing healthy eating as part of an overall positive lifestyle is key to sticking to your wellness plan. If you put a timeline on your eating habits, you’re less likely to reap long-term rewards. People who yo-yo diet are at risk of regaining any weight lost from dieting, or gaining more weight once their diet is over.
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