Replace Dieting With Normal Eating

It's almost bathing suit season. Are you starting to panic because you'll soon be shedding layers of winter clothing and exposing your body? Eeek.

When you have more flab than you want, fretting about excess body weight easily leads to dieting, of which there are plenty of choices:

  • Atkins
  • Jenny Craig
  • Cabbage Soup Diet
  • Banana Diet

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Unfortunately, none of these diets work in the long run. If diets did work, then everyone who has ever been on a diet would be lean. Instead, we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic.

Not only do fad diets fail, but they commonly backfire and contribute to weight gain over time. A study with teens who were followed from middle school into high school indicates that the students who were dieting at the time of the initial survey were worse off five years later. They were fatter, struggled with disordered eating, or had an outright eating disorder. They achieved no benefits from their attempts to lose weight.

More: 7 Ways to Eat Smart and Lose Weight

Why Eating is Better Than Dieting

Overweight teens become adults who continue to struggle with food for the rest of their lives. We need to discourage dieting from an early age and instead focus on eating healthfully.

If you don't go on a diet, you won't "blow your diet," gorge on cookies, and gain weight. Eating normally—enjoying appropriate amounts of wholesome foods that fuel your body throughout the day—leads to an appropriate weight.

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