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The Cold Truth About the Diet Industry in America

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The Cold Truth About the Diet Industry in America

I share this because I care. The journey to weight loss for me was and still is a struggle. However, incremental steps, keeping the faith, and staying diligent all work. Simply put, the only way to lose weight, get in shape, and feel good about yourself is through long-term behavior modification. This can help you, especially this time of year with New Years resolutions flying around. Don’t let yours fly out the window!  Read on, because:

Dieting Is an Industry You May Not Need to Buy Into

Check out the following data[1]:

  • Americans are dieting at the highest rate in history
  • 20-24 percent of American men and 33-40 percent of American women are actively dieting to lose weight
  • 57 percent of U.S. women are now dieting according to a national telephone survey
  • The diet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Over the past twenty years, the diet industry has tripled its gross annual income to approximately $60 billion
  • Girls who diet frequently are 12 times as likely to binge as girls who don’t diet
  • Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors (skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives).

Current Diet Mindsets of Americans

We continue to beat ourselves up and believe:

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  • It is impossible to be fit AND fat at the same time
  • All large people MUST lose weight in order to improve their health and fitness level
  • All large people are in poor health
  • Everyone can lose weight IF they just follow the proper diet and regular exercise program
  • The main reason people regain lost weight is THEIR failure to comply with prescribed diets or make long-term commitments to weight loss.

Ben Goldacre wrote in his book “Bad Science” that, “we have somehow become collectively obsessed with these absurd, thinly evidenced individual tinkerings in diet, distracting us from simple, healthy eating advice but, more than that, as we saw, distracting us from the other important lifestyle risk factors for ill health that cannot be sold or commodified.”

Some Facts About Leptin and Ghrelin

Leptin is good, Grehlin (I like to think ‘Gremlin’) on the other hand, is troublesome if you don’t know the difference.

Leptin is your body’s long-term regulator, which is produced in fat cells; it tells the brain that the body’s fat reserves are sufficient by signaling the hypothalamus and quieting appetite signals. The issue lies in the fact that obese people have plenty of Leptin, they just do not respond to its signals correctly.

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Ghrelin increases the appetite, is released primarily in the stomach, and is thought to signal hunger to the brain. When you are hungry it is your hormone Ghrelin at work.

Educate Yourself

My issue with diets, diet plans, and pseudo-diets is the finite nature of the whole concept. I had tried almost everything, and with my compulsive behavior I was on a roller-coaster of fitness and weight loss my entire life. Would you like to know how I finally was able to diet correctly?

It was education!

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I just never put the pieces together, probably like you and many others I am sure. It wasn’t until 1998 when everything changed because I became informed. I made a lifestyle change, not a finite diet but a lifelong decision to learn about and come to grips with my own struggles. It is now a daily journey, a lifestyle that is very simple and doable.

Make a Change

Doctors and economists refer to the term, “opportunity cost,” or the cost of doing one thing rather than doing something else. Finding your way and changing is the opportunity cost versus not doing anything and hammering chips while you lose your quality of life sitting on the couch.

Our opportunity cost of feeling better is directly related to making accountable decisions.

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So what is your opportunity cost of not getting off the couch? To not utilize your skills, share knowledge, and regain your quality of life? Think about it.

Lead By Example

Your ability to do outreach and help others by leading change can start a movement and tip the economies of scale and scope in your favor. It increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

Not doing something positive is a potential for loss, and feeds into a figurative “negative energy tornado” (NET). Why not opt for the socialization of the “positive energy network” (PEN) and be an example? You will have an intrinsic feeling of knowing that you helped not only yourself, but also helped others by setting the example and sharing your quest. People often need examples if they want to get better!

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With this said, I look forward to helping others through my work in the multimedia. Find more work on our website and in coming articles here at Lifehack. Peace!

Featured photo credit: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiy3snkn7PRAhWE34MKHXrXB-UQjhwIBQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.anktangle.com%2F2013%2F01%2Freclaiming-healthy-on-intuitive-eating-and-ditching-diet.html&psig=AFQjCNGtyZX9UdHCq-GWM-wcjHAsybPnbg&ust=1483988940579052 via google.com

Reference

[1] Southern Connecticut State University: Why Diets Don’t Work

More by this author

tom matt

Talk show host, Author, Professional Inspirational Speaker, Higher Education-Telecommunications Professional

The Cold Truth About the Diet Industry in America
The Cold Truth About the Diet Industry in America
Can We All Afford to Ignore This?
Can We All Afford to Ignore This?

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