Three Reasons Why Dieting Is Becoming Passé

Current research suggests that the incidence of overweight and obesity in the US continues to rise. While that isn’t really “news” anymore, the fact that fewer people are actively trying to lose weight did catch my attention.  To me it’s equally disturbing that over half of Americans are overweight AND that fewer are attempting to tip their scales in a healthier direction. Both reports are somewhat dumbfounding and leave me wondering if there is something important to learn from this troubling narrative and, perhaps—even a silver lining to find.

  1. Being overweight is now the norm. Because people of larger body size don’t have to look far to fit in it’s likely that they feel less stigmatized and are simply more okay with being overweight. If there is an upside to this rather alarming trend it’s that many people have become more accepting of themselves and that their body image has improved. Interestingly, research shows that self acceptance along with a “kind to self” approach works better at stimulating healthy change than a demeaning “big stick” approach. Yet there is an element of denial in this loose sort of acceptance. It seems careless to diminish the very real health problems associated with being overweight. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, carrying extra fat leads to serious health consequences such as cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke), type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis, and some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon).
  1. Many have given up because dieting is hard & rarely works! Yoni Freedhoff, author of “The Diet Fix” says “I don’t think 95 percent of people fail diets. I believe that 95 percent of diets fail people.”  Diets excel at helping people lose weight but fail miserably at teaching them how to sustain  results.  The fact that most Biggest Loser contestants lost tons of weight and then slowly but surely regained it illustrates this well-known consequence of fast weight loss. Most diet and fast fitness plans are a set up for failure and ultimately create cycle weight loss attempts that get harder and less gratifying each time.
  1. Dieting is Passe – Hallelujah!  As the celebrity led non-diet trend takes a firmer hold many of us are gladly jumping on board. With a sigh of relief more and more former dieters are veering from punitive go-to weight loss plans toward holistic ones that are grounded in consuming whole foods and in consciousness building practices like mindfulness.Non-diet followers fall into two general categories. The first group more easily and contentedly embraces the movement’s pragmatic, slow road approach to wellness. The second group are also on board with the lifestyle idea but often find it “diet like” in that it applies it’s own sort of pressure and can be equally frustrating.

    People immersed in a “stay busy & eat on the run” reality will find it difficult to make enough of the necessary shifts both food and exercise wise to realize results. It’s important to remember that lifestyle changes are rarely easy because they require breaking with old habits that for better or for worse have served some purpose. This un-habiting calls for a gentle yet firm practice approach that includes showing up with solid intentions, doing your best, learning from missteps, and being willing to start over again as needed.

Stay Lean,


Next month we will explore how to relax and enjoy the holidays without gaining weight!

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