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The Cold Truth About the Diet Industry in America

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!

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 Can We All Afford to Ignore This?

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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