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Why Diets Donít Work
by Dr. Karen Wolfe

One of the great mysteries of the health and wellness movement of the 20th century is that obesity is on the rise despite a booming billion dollar diet industry. Three new studies on Americans and weight gain were released last fall. Obesity (the state of being more than 30 percent above oneís ideal body weight) is on the rise Ė from 12 percent of the population in 1991 to almost 18 percent in 1998, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, more than half of the adults in this country are now considered at least moderately overweight. All this despite the fact that the total fat consumption in the United States has decreased over the past decade.

Bookstores are crowded with the latest seductive diet craze such as the high protein, low-carbohydrate diets that let you eat bacon and burgers and not pasta and potatoes. Why ?

Top Ten Reasons why we are in a diet frenzy to no available:
  • We are addicted to the "quick fix".
  • We live in a society of learned helplessness, always looking for answers "outside" of ourselves.
  • We have moved from "fresh" to "frozen" and have lost the rich goodness of food along the way.
  • We see food as the "enemy" rather than a source of nourishment and enjoyment.
  • We rarely sit down together to eat and have lost the link between food and family.
  • Supplements often take the place of food.
  • The media projects an unhealthy and unrealistic view of body shape and size that creates a "frenzy" of "bad body fever".
  • We have not heeded Janet Greesonís words of wisdom, "Itís not what youíre eating itís whatís eating you." That is, weight gain is more about feelings than food.
  • We think we are our bodies, instead of remembering that Food addiction is a disease of the human spirit, something not focused on in medical or nutrition classes.
Top Reasons Why Diets Donít Work
  • Crash diets are self defeating because deprivation of food triggers an inborn alarm system that causes the body to lower its metabolic rate (which is the amount of calories it requires to burn each day in order to function) and store fat. This metabolic adjustment served an important evolutionary purpose and allowed us to store extra fat as a hedge against future deprivation.
  • What you resist persists. Have you ever noticed that as soon as you go on a diet, you start obsessing about food more than ever? Suddenly all your mental energy is focused on one dominant thought. As a result, even while managing to resist putting the "forbidden" food into your mouth, you are still a prisoner of food in your mind.
  • We have put moral labels an food, categorizing them as "good" or "bad"
  • No single food should be forbidden, or like the apple, we will want it even more
  • They focus on "deprivation" as opposed to foods you can eat.
  • They focus on control. Going into battle with food gives it power.
  • We live in a society of learned helplessness. Giving our power away by relying on a "diet" to "fix" the problem. The problem with most dieting is, people think because the diet is a failure, they are a failure.
  • We overlook the fact that the change needs to be as much from your attitude and behavior as your eating habits.
Copyright Dr. Karen Wolfe. All Rights Reserved.

Karen Wolfe is a national and international speaker, author and coach. She is the author of:
  • Medicine From the Inside Out - 7 Keys to Unlock Your Natural Healing Wisdom
  • Menopause - Renewal in Midlife,
  • From Stress to Strength
  • Successful Aging
  • A Wise Womanís Approach to Healing and Cancer
  • Awaken Your Healer Within
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