Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Danger of Dieting

98% of all diets fail. That is, only 2% of all people who diet manage to keep the weight off once the diet has ended. The rest put it all back on within one or two years, and the majority of them end up heavier than when they started. Most of the biggest people you see around are not people who need to go on a diet; they are people who have been dieting most of their lives.

Next up, with most diets, the first thing you lose is muscle tissue, as your body goes into starvation mode and stores the fat. However, when you the regain the weight it comes back as fat rather than muscle. So even if you end up at only the same weight, your proportion of fat will be higher.

For your average man, if he loses a significant amount of weight and then puts it all back on, he doubles his chance of a heart attack.

So if I offered you some kind of reward for undertaking a task that has a 2% chance of success, and a 98% chance of doubling your risk of having a heart attack, how quickly would you sign up?

Diets cannot work because they are temporary and, like stomach-stapling, jaw wiring or liposuction, don’t actually address WHY we were overeating in the first place. Without dealing with this crucial issue, eating will always remain a problem.

So if diets don’t work, and they’re bloody dangerous, what are we to do if we don’t want to stay massively overweight, with the accompanying health dangers? In essence, we have to change our lifestyle. The changes we make have to be healthy and they have to be sustainable.


Amanda said...

Yes. ;)

Julana said...

This is interesting. I wonder if you could have done it without your wife's help.

Kim Ayres said...

Hi Julana,

Over the past 15 years my wife and I have been through good, bad, fantastic and tragic times together. Our lives are completely interwoven. To think of doing something like this without my wife's support would be like thinking of doing it without breathing.

Maggie, however, doesn't like the idea of her weight being aired publically so this blog is mainly focusing on my own progress and thoughts.

Tim said...

Oy kind Sir,

I wanted to drop a comment agreeing with your assessment of dieting's fatal flaw, and as this is the first time I've commented on your blog, bid you hello. I am an old acquaintance of Sir Chubalot to whom I am sometimes called...Tim? While I am not a man of significant girth, and thus ineligible for Knighthood, I am a man for whom issues related to habits good and bad are not uncommon, and thus have found some common ground with the Knights.

Kim Ayres said...

Greetings Tim! Thank you for taking the time to look round and comment on this blog.

I see that Sir Chubalot refers to you as The Exercise Oracle. As my stated aim is to get healthier, and losing weight is just one aspect of that, any thoughts, suggestions, insights, comments, questions or discussions would be greatly appreciated.