Lifestyle Changes Trump Dieting

There seems to be a new diet book published every day. At the same time, obesity is a growing problem with no sign of relief. Why don’t these wonderful diets have any impact on our nation’s waistline? New research seems to indicate that dieting without lifestyle change is a waste of perfectly good chocolate.

A new report published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) says that most diets are equally good (or bad) for weight control, and that lifestyle change is the only way to achieve true obesity control. Lead author Dr. Sherry Pagoto says that we are focused on the wrong thing if all of our time and research money is spent on quick weight-loss schemes.

It is the view of this report that counting calories, or carbs, or fat won’t lead to better health. Rather, we should change our approach to eating in such a way that we eat less. Oh, and exercising a bit more helps a lot, too, it turns out.

Lifestyle changes are not easy. Most of us don’t have much time to cook for ourselves. The same time pressures conspire to keep us from exercising. Portion control? That's in conflict with the suggestion to "super size" that order. Good intentions are wonderful, but we seem to keep driving through fast food on the way home to sit on the coach and watch TV.

There are some proven strategies for success. Having an exercise partner or a diet buddy can make a huge difference in your ability to stay motivated and on track. With someone else to keep accountable, sparing that 45 minutes every day to walk or lift (or whatever) or making it to the weekly weigh in is suddenly possible. Mutual goal setting is very powerful, and a real-life buddy makes it a shared journey toward a healthier future.

So should we all forget about our diets? Probably not, sorry. It does make sense, though, to reconsider our lifestyle and the dozens of daily decisions that lead to our actual quality of life.

1 comment:

  1. Yes yes yes!! Diets are short term and prone to failure. Lifestyle changes (sustainable changes) are where the magic happens!! Thank you for talking about it!