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Weight Control

Diets Don't Work Long Term, Survey Finds


Diet's don't work. Eighty-eight percent of dieters regained the weight they had lost, and 39 percent of all dieters gained back even more, according to results of a survey.

"Many diets are created to help people lose weight, but they aren't designed to be used long term," Sean McCosh, said vice president at SparkPeople.com, which conducted the survey.

"The problem is, most people simply don't know how to make the transition from a specific diet to a healthy lifestyle, so they end up failing." This unhealthy weight-loss yo-yo causes frustration in 80 percent of dieters, and in most cases, that frustration leads to emotional eating and oversized portions.

"It's a vicious cycle," McCosh added. "Frustration leads to slip-ups which can lead to binges and over a period of time this puts the pounds back on."

But fad diets aren't the only precursors to the yo-yo cycle. Organized giants like Weight Watchers and Atkins contribute as well. Of those surveyed, 65 percent had tried Weight Watchers. After quitting, 62 percent gained back what they had lost, while a third put on even more weight.

Fifty percent of dieters surveyed had tried Atkins. Off the diet, 71 percent regained their lost weight and 40 percent gained back more than they took off. Why did they quit? Two-thirds of both Weight Watchers and Atkins dieters said that counting points or carbs was cumbersome in everyday situations and led to frustration.

"What this data shows is that diets don't work long term," said McCosh. "People need to learn how to turn diet restrictions into new eating habits that fit their real life. Once the transition from a restrictive diet to the healthy habit mentality is made, people are finally free from diet failure and frustration."

SparkPeople.com is a weight loss Web site with over 100,000 members that teaches frustrated dieters how to stop dieting for good and live a healthy lifestyle. The site's philosophy, combined with smart motivational strategies and a collection of personalized online tools, has helped thousands of members lose weight and keep it off, company officials said.

For more information on SparkPeople.com, go to www.SparkPeople.com.


© 2005 Health Resources Publishing