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To ask if you know diets very rarely work in the long term?

(124 Posts)
purplefig Tue 15-Sep-20 13:35:59

Lately I've heard so many people (on here and offline) beating themselves up about not being able to lose weight.

It's led me to wonder: do most people still think that diets work?

If so, this talk by a neuroscientist is well worth a watch:

OP’s posts: |
ZaraW Tue 15-Sep-20 13:40:11

I thought it was widely known diets don't work in the longterm and over 90% gain back the weight within 5 years.

So many people on MN have issues with food. I wouldn't listen to a lot of "advice" on here.

CodenameVillanelle Tue 15-Sep-20 13:40:46

The study that shows diets don't work is really quite flawed. The evidence that '95% of people regain weight' isn't strong evidence at all.

Losing weight is possible, and keeping it off is also possible. Fad diets don't usually work because people revert to previous habits but people take that to mean nobody can lose weight long term which isn't true.

thedaywewillremeber Tue 15-Sep-20 13:42:16

I think in order to lose weight and keep it off people need to be eating all food types. I think issues with keeping it up after weight loss happens because people have deprived themselves.

Callardandbowser Tue 15-Sep-20 13:43:01

I started on the low carb boot camp last October, lost a stone and a half and am now happily quite low carb (apart from the odd birthday/ meal out) and rarely even think about food and also haven’t gained the weight back so it does work as long as you see it as new habit forming.

purplefig Tue 15-Sep-20 13:43:30

@ZaraW agreed...I was reading through a thread on here the other day on what people do to stay slim and it was kind of shocking in places.

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MsEllany Tue 15-Sep-20 13:44:13

So if you’re fat what is the answer?

Because if I dress up my diet as a lifestyle change or whatever, I still have to restrict my calories else I won’t lose weight. Which is a diet, I’ve just called it something else.

purplefig Tue 15-Sep-20 13:44:43

@Callardandbowser I guess the fact you say you rarely think about food indicates you're eating pretty mindfully though, rather than dieting.

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purplefig Tue 15-Sep-20 13:46:54

@MsEllany really recommend watching the talk by the neuroscientist. She stresses the importance of healthy habits (specifically fruit and veg, exercise and no smoking, low alcohol) for lowering chances of death. Interestingly, whether you're a healthy weight, overweight or obese, if you have all four habits your chances of death are roughly the same.

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Mellonsprite Tue 15-Sep-20 13:47:02

So what are we supposed to do? Calorie deficit is needed for weight loss.

Frankiegoes Tue 15-Sep-20 13:47:03

The reason why most diets don’t work is that most people who go on a diet because they eat too much of the wrong foods. They lose weight on a diet and think that they can then go back to their normal eating afterwards. This we’ll never work as their ‘normal eating’ was too much and will just cause them to put the weight back on again. Diets do work if you can change your mindset and your way of eating for ever, after you have lost the weight.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Tue 15-Sep-20 13:47:58

So if you’re fat you shouldn’t bother? Your fate is sealed? Nice.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 15-Sep-20 13:48:34

Yes. Those of us who buy into diets though really do try hard. I've stopped doing 'diets' now and am doing intermittent fasting. Nobody makes money from it. Nobody. Can't say that about many eating plans.

Each to their own though, I know people who've had amazing success with WW and SW and the like - and if/when they need to, they go back to them and have amazing success. It may not be long term, but, better than piling on weight and continue to keep doing that.

Health and strength is what I'm aiming for now.

NiceLegsShameAboutTheFace Tue 15-Sep-20 13:48:44

Because if I dress up my diet as a lifestyle change or whatever, I still have to restrict my calories else I won’t lose weight. Which is a diet, I’ve just called it something else.

Precisely. You speak the truth smile

araiwa Tue 15-Sep-20 13:48:46

It's not the fault of the diet if people use it to lose weight then once they're at their target weight they abandon it and go back to eating lard and gaining weight

purplefig Tue 15-Sep-20 13:48:46

@Mellonsprite I mean I'm no expert 😂 but the neuroscientist in the talk I linked to is probably worth a listen to.

OP’s posts: |
Hazelnutlatteplease Tue 15-Sep-20 13:49:35

Diets worked for me. Slimfast and then calorie counting. 6+ stone down, 4+ years later, I will never go back to my previous weight.

I do need to diet again intermittently though. That's because I enjoy food, sometimes a bit too much food.

Anything that means you eat less fuel than your body needs will "work". Your OP is ridiculous.

purplefig Tue 15-Sep-20 13:49:57

@GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat what do you mean by fate in that context?

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BrandNewShinyThings Tue 15-Sep-20 13:50:21

Maintenance is the kicker. I can lose weight fairly easily, I've lost and gained the same 2 stone many times. Can I keep it off? Can I fuck. Unless you are prepared to stick to whatever regime you've followed for ever, and are able to have the occasional 'treat' without it throwing you off the wagon, you have no chance.

Mellonsprite Tue 15-Sep-20 13:53:12

@Mellonsprite I mean I'm no expert 😂 but the neuroscientist in the talk I linked to is probably worth a listen to.

I’ll have a listen later on, I’m struggling to lose weight and it’s actually becoming very socially unacceptable to be fat / overweight these days with Covid. Really dieting is my only option!!

LibrariesGiveUsPower Tue 15-Sep-20 13:53:13

Calorie deficit is needed for weight loss. What most people fail to do is to then learn healthy eating habits after.

Read the fast 800 by Michael Mosley, it’s full of scientific research. A couple key points:
1. The food industry wants to make us fat. Then sell us diet food. Then make us fat again
2. There are massive health benefits to loosing a lot of weight, even if you later put it back on.
3. We need to break our addiction to sugar
4. We need to be more mindful of what we eat and not emotional eat.

So actually, diets do work. We justneed to learn to eat healthy long term.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Tue 15-Sep-20 13:54:23


*@GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat* what do you mean by fate in that context?

Well right now I’m fat. I’ve just started a diet to lose weight and you’re saying why bother, you’ll just end up fat again?

purplefig Tue 15-Sep-20 13:59:38

@Mellonsprite oh that's horrible, I'm really sorry you're experiencing that. People can be so cruel. The original intuitive eating book pretty much changed my life. I'd so recommend it if that talk resonates in any way with you.

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purplefig Tue 15-Sep-20 14:02:33

@GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat sorry, I don't mean to sound disheartening. Why are you trying to lose weight? Is it for health reasons? If so, the neuroscientist in that talk explains that actually healthy habits (eating enough fruit and veg, exercising thee times a week, not smoking and limiting alcohol) are actually more important than weight when it comes to death. I recommend it a minute ago but the original intuitive eating book was a game changer for me.

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Kaktus Tue 15-Sep-20 14:03:47

I lost weight by going on a diet. I didn’t follow a plan or count calories or anything. I just ate less. Ergo, a diet.
I lost two stone. 2 years later, I’ve kept it off.

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