That’s the number of people in the United States who go on a diet each year.
That’s the amount of money Americans spend each year on weight loss products and services.
That’s the proportion of adults in the United States that are overweight or obese by current medical standards.
That’s the number of Americans who have ever been overweight or obese, lost weight and maintained their weight loss.
How can so many people spend so much time and money on this single goal with so little to show for it?
Most of the 45 million Americans who go on a diet this year will fail and try another diet, and then another. They will spend their hard-earned money and limited time and resources on one lifestyle change after another and will have very little to show for it. In fact, they may be worse off in the long term. Studies have shown that weight cycling, more commonly referred to as yo-yo dieting, is responsible for much of the association we see between obesity and heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
Part of the problem, it may seem, is that diets come in as many flavors as there are foods. Yet, no matter their differences, they all have a one feature in common — you have to make some sacrifices.
Nearly every popular diet on the market is based on elimination of one kind of food or another
Want to give keto a try? Kiss bread, pasta, and carrots goodbye! Interested in Whole30? Forget about any food containing sugar or sugar substitutes, natural or otherwise. Even WW, formerly Weight Watchers, which markets itself as a lifestyle change that allows you to eat the foods you love while still losing weight, subtly (or not-so-subtly) guides you away from certain foods. For years each new iteration of their program has manipulated its users away from foods like cheese, nuts, and avocados, and toward other “healthier” options (those listed as “free” foods…