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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 July 18, 2019

What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

Some people just seem to float through life with a relentless sense of happiness – through the toughest of times, they’re unfazed and aloof, stopping to smell the roses and drinking out of a glass half full.

They may not have much to be happy about, but the simplicity behind that fact itself may make them happy.

It’s all a matter of perspective, conscious effort and self-awareness. Listed below are a number of reasons why some people are always happy.

1. They Manage Their Expectations

They’re not crushed when they don’t get what they want – or misled into expecting to get the most out of every situation. They approach every situation pragmatically, hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst.

2. They Don’t Set Unrealistic Standards

Similar to the last point, they don’t live their lives in a constant pursuit towards impossible visions of perfection, only to always find themselves falling short of what they want.

3. They Don’t Take Anything for Granted

Happiness rests with feeling fulfilled – those who fail to stop and appreciate what they have every now and again will never experience true fulfillment.

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4. They’re Not Materialistic

There are arguing viewpoints on whether or not money can really buy happiness; if it can, then we know from experience that we can never be satisfied because there will always be something newer or better that we want. Who has ever had enough money?

5. They Don’t Dwell

They don’t sweat the small things or waste time worrying about things that don’t really matter at the end of the day. They don’t let negative thoughts latch onto them and drain them or distract them. Life’s too short to worry.

6. They Care About Themselves First

They’re independent, care for themselves and understand that they must put their needs first in order to accommodate the needs of others.

They indulge, aim to get what they want, make time for themselves and are extremely self-reliant.

7. They Enjoy the Little Things

They stop to smell the roses. They’re accustomed to find serenity when it’s available, to welcome entertainment or a stimulating discussion with a stranger when it crosses their path. They don’t overlook the small things in life that can be just as important.

8. They Can Adapt

They’re not afraid of change and they work to make the most out of new circumstances, good or bad. They thrive under pressure, are not overwhelmed easily and always embrace a change of pace.

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9. They Experiment

They try new things, experience new flavors and never shy away from something they have yet to experience. They never order twice from the same menu.

10. They Take Their Time

They don’t unnecessarily rush through life. They work on their own schedule to the extent that they can and maneuver through life at their own relaxing pace.

11. They Employ Different Perspectives

They’re not stuck in one perspective; a loss can result in a new opportunity, hitting rock bottom can mean that there’s no where to go but up.

12. They Seek to Learn

Their constant pursuit of knowledge keeps them inspired and interested in life. They cherish information and are on a life-long quest to learn as much as they can.

13. They Always Have a Plan

They don’t find themselves drifting without purpose. When something doesn’t go as planned, they have a plan for every letter in the alphabet to fall back on.

14. They Give Respect to Get It

They are respectful and, in turn, are seen as respectable; the respect they exude earns them the respect they deserve.

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15. They Consider Every Opportunity

They always have their eyes open for a new road, a new avenue worth exploring. They know how to recognize opportune moments and pounce on them to make the most of every situation. Success is inevitable for them.

16. They Always Seek to Improve

Perpetual self-improvement is the key towards their ongoing thirst for success. Whatever it is they do, they take pride in getting better and better, from social interactions to mundane tasks. Their pursuit at being the best eventually materializes.

17. They Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

They’re not ones to get offended easily over-analyze or complicate matters. They laugh at their own faults and misfortunes.

18. They Live in the Moment

They don’t live for tomorrow or dwell on what may have happened yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity, a new chapter. They live in the now, and in doing so, get the most out of every moment.

You can learn how to do so too: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

19. They Say Yes

Much more often than they say no. They don’t have to be badgered to go out, don’t shy away from new opportunities or anything that may seem inconvenient.

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20. They’re Self-Aware

Most important, they’re wholly aware of themselves. They self-reflect and are conscious of their states of mind. If somethings bothering them, they fix it.

We’re all susceptible to feeling down every now and again, but we are all equipped with the necessary solutions that just have to be discovered.

Lack of confidence, inability to feel fulfilled, and susceptibility to stress are all matters that can be controlled through the way we handle our lives and perceive our circumstances.

Learn about How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life.

Final Thoughts

The main philosophy employed by the happiest includes the idea that life’s simply too short: life’s too short to let things get you down, to take things for granted, to pursue absolute and unrealistic perfection.

For some, employing these characteristics is a second nature – they do it without knowing. For others, a conscious effort must be put forth every now and again. Self-Awareness is key.

More About Happiness

Featured photo credit: Charles Postiaux via unsplash.com

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