Have celebrities finally come to terms that diets don’t work?

Dr Nick Fuller
Leading Obesity Expert at the University of Sydney and founder of Interval Weight Loss.

Two in three people now have problems with their weight. From the 1980s to this day, obesity rates have trebled. This is despite the fact that 98% of all modern known diets were invented from the 1980s onwards! So yes, you have understood this correctly, diets have done little to nothing to curb the obesity problem.If anything, there is a strong argument that says that diets have contributed to the rise of the very thing that they claim to diminish. We are in fact, dieting ourselves fatter. Surely, this is the very definition of madness! Americans spend over $60 billion each year in an attempt to lose the pounds, and Australians spend over $6 billion each year. Over 100 million Americans are said to be on diets at any given time and dieters typically will try 4 to 5 diets EVERY year. Adding insult to injury celebrity endorsers of diets and weight loss fads continue to get wealthy on their endorsements, while the poor over-weight public descend further into obesity. 

Changing their tactics a little to maintain their appeal the celebrities who have dominated the market for decades are now changing their direction to focus on preventing weight regain. Their supporters are crying out because their diets don’t work and they admit themselves that “…the uncomfortable truth is that, for most of us, the weight eventually creeps back on” – Michelle Bridges from her latest book. People fail on the 12WBT diet, almost as a matter of course. Their new and only slightly altered diet ideas are yet more marketing spin, and they lack the necessary research to prove their worth and effectiveness.

Diets don’t work long-term and it doesn’t matter what the diet is (and yes, this includes the new 5:2, intermittent fasting, keto and Paleo fads – the list goes on). You lose the weight and then put it back on because we are all tuned to a set point and your body will defend your set point every time you go on a diet.

There are 4 main reasons why going on the next diet is doing more harm than good:

1. Your body metabolism never recovers

Whenever you lose large amounts of weight you are stuffing up your metabolism (the amount of energy you burn at rest). This means that your body burns way less calories at rest and even after you regain the weight, meaning your metabolism never recovers to the level of that before you began the diet.

2. You are putting yourself at serious long term health risks

The majority of diets require you to exclude certain foods or food groups which play an important role in your long-term health. Carbs are often made out to be the baddie and are the first to be put on the “ban” list, yet wholegrain carbohydrates are an important source of nutrition, helping with weight loss, and help prevent cancer. In contrast, a diet that is largely protein and based on meat consumption (e.g. Paleo Diet) can cause cancer.

3. Your appetite hormones will start acting differently

After you lose weight, your appetite hormones start working differently to tell you to eat more. They don’t go back to how they were working before you started the diet and they will continue working differently to ensure your appetite increases and you keep eating more food. You will just end up fatter than when you started.

4. You are making yourself miserable

Food should be enjoyed yet diets exclude foods and tell us to restrict our intake only to compound the problem even more. Excluding certain foods that provide us happiness and comfort will only make us unhappy, hence you are dieting yourself to misery.

It’s simply not worth it! Next time you pick up that soap magazine, hear your friend, family member or colleague telling you about the new diet they are on, or you read about the new diet that has just hit the shelves, reflect for a second, and remember that dieting is doing more harm than good.

Enough is enough – this industry has been in need of disruption for a very long time. A call-to-action to treat and prevent obesity is urgently needed. The government needs to step in and better regulate this industry, currently dominated by unresearched ‘fad’ diets making our population worse off.

Would it not make more sense to hear from the obesity experts themselves? Or are they not sexy enough?

About Dr Nick Fuller

Dr Nick Fuller is the founder of Interval Weight Loss and is a leading obesity expert at the University of Sydney with a Ph.D. in Obesity Treatment. Dr Fuller is also the author of three best-selling books and his work been published in top ranked journals in the medical field, including JAMA, Lancet and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.