Why Diets Don't Work

 Almost all of us at some stage in our lives have depended on food for relief of more than hunger. Food is used for psychological or emotional purposes more than any other activity or substance.  Eating may be an automatic response to feeling difficult emotions, and is often a behaviour we do automatically without thinking. So to break this cycle more than just will power is required.

The “False Hope Syndrome”

  • Many advertisers promote and advertise the ultimate solution to weight loss creating a false hope that many of us mistakenly believe.
  • 95% of people who loose weight will regain the weight within a year and many will gain more weight than originally lost.
  • Promoters of weight loss programmes have a vested interest in blaming the dieter rather than the diet. Leading to feelings of disillusion, self hatred and guilt.

Why is it, that so many dieters fail over and over again to achieve their ideal body weight?

Research undertaken by the University of Toronto suggest there are a number of reasons why this occurs.

  • Unrealisticly high expectations 
  • Dieters believe they can loose weight more easily and more rapidly than is possible
  • Overconfidence (rather than confidence)
  • High energy efforts towards weight programmes lead to energy depletion, stress and mental overload.

So why try over and over again even when repeated failure
is proof that diets don’t work. 

Often dieters mistakenly blame weight loss failures on lack of self control, lack of will power and individual shortcomings rather than considering the option to find another way in achieving weight loss.

As a repetitive dieter, you may feel that it is your fault and that you are weak. You may blame yourself and promise to try harder next time only to find the same pattern or cycle being repeated. However it is important to understand that you are up against something that is harder than you alone can fix.

Diet companies rely on 95% repeat customers. They rely on return customers who will come back again and again to buy their products and services. If everyone who went on a diet only did it once, they wouldn’t survive

If diets really did work you would only have to do them once.

48% of dieters become preoccupied with food or eating
44% of dieters experience increased anxiety
34% of dieters experience increased irritation
27% of dieters experience increased depression

It is  important to know when to abandon misdirected efforts.

The Tension of Diets

When there is a strong focus on losing weight, the added tension created in the body depletes the happy hormones (dopamine), leading to feelings of being alone, isolated, cold and unloved.

Can you blame yourself for binging on comfort food when you feel all these complex and challenging emotions???

Weakened Metabolism

Regular dieting disturbs the self regulatory process and affects the metabolism.  It fools the body into thinking it is responding to starvation conditions and lowers the rate at which food is processed. 

If you have been constantly dieting and start to eat regularly, you may experience feelings of “not being full” because the body’s own self regulating system has been damaged.

In addition to this the body’s thermostat which controls the metabolism of food is sluggish and cannot metabolise food at the rate is should.  With a sluggish system, most people then reach out for another diet solution and continue the self-defeating process adding further damage to the metabolism.

Reference:  If At First You Don’t Succeed. Janet Polivy and C. Peter Herman
University of Toronto

So why continue to keep trying despite such overwhelming odds?

There is another way

Most weight loss solutions will not address the real problem that causes weight gain or food addictions so is it any wonder that the pattern is continuously repeated. 

You can reach a stage where you have a friendly rather than obsessive/avoidant relationship with food.

Freud convincingly demonstrated that the mind could exert a powerful influence on our body. Often it is our subconscious that is creating the body size we are.

Are you ready to break the cycle and hae a healthy relationship with food.

The good news is that with the right help and support you can overcome the behaviour and find freedom from it. The reasons why you have developed your eating behaviour is personal and individual, so the way of dealing with it will also be individual and catered to your personality and beliefs.

An ideal body is one that will have the energy and strength to allow us to take on and expereince whatever adventures and joy we would like in life. 

How Insight Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy can Help You

Our Philosphy is to provide a  therapeutic, nurturing and supportive environment


We can help you to:

  1. Gain insight and awareness of  self-destructive patterns
  2. Learn to recognise your own personal triggers
  3. Develop ways to tolerate stress and regulate emotions
  4. Learning peaceful ways to relax your mind and body

At Insight Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy we take a holistic approach towards overcoming food issues. In particular we address individual biological, psychological and social influences that have prevented you succeeding in the past. We have in depth experience in a range of therapies to help you.  Some of these include:

 In understanding more about your eating cues and reasons behind the behaviour you will be able to take positive steps towards a healhty relationship with food.

Take the necessary steps for change........

Make an appointment to start your path in Overcoming Food Issues