If you’ve ever lost weight on a diet, chances are you put it back on again afterwards. People can blame themselves for this, thinking that it’s a lack of will power and self discipline. It isn’t true. Others think overweight people eat too much. Sometimes perhaps, but often that isn’t true either.
We’re told that all we need to do is eat less and exercise more – it sounds so plausible we believe it – I used to. A BBC mini series, “The Men Who Made Us Thin”, looked into the diet industry – and the vast amounts of money they make directly as a result of their failure to deliver long term weight loss. This is not news. They’ve known since the 1940s that diets don’t work – it’s the reason for the continuing financial success of the industry! So really they’re The Men Who Didn’t Make Us Thin.
Weight is classified using Body Mass Index; you’ve probably seen the charts. The definition was arbitrarily changed from BMI 27 to BMI 25 resulting in millions of people who were fine suddenly being classed as overweight and therefore clients for the diet industry. BMI ignores body composition. Many fit, muscular people without an ounce of excess fat come out as obese on the charts. A better method is to aim for a waist measurement less than half your height.
Much of the diet industry’s profit comes from selling foods, including ready meals and processed foods which aren’t generally great for your health, or for weight loss. They may be low calorie and low fat but calories are not all equal and fats are not all bad. Most people would lose weight naturally and permanently if they switched to real food and leaned to eat well.
Top tip – If you want to get thin, eat well!