Why you don't need expensive diet plans

A Free Diet Plan That Works

by Midori Barizo

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If my experience is similar to the majority of people who have tried to lose weight with diet books, pills, powders, custom meals, protein bars and other items promoted by the billion dollar weight-loss industry, I am not alone in having lost a lot of money in the process instead of a lot of weight. I have been on that search for the secret to losing weight since I was 13. Finally, at 25, I found that secret, and it didn't require any extra money. It didn't even involve a diet! Where did people even get the idea that the solution to losing weight is to get on a diet? A poll of over 2,000 adults conducted by Health on the Net Foundation revealed that 65 percent of those who tried to diet or control their weight through a program failed in their attempt. People are fed up and want stop spending money on diet food, low-carb bars, heart-racing pills, lean cuisine, low-cal munchies, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, and Weight Watchers but still lose weight.

First of all, all diets work. The problem is that they all work, until you stop. Unless people are willing to commit to a specific diet or program for the rest of their lives, they will always feel like the diet "failed." Because a diet suggests deprivation, restrictions and control, it's hard to commit to them for life. The solution may seem overly simplistic, but it works. People must learn to listen to the body's natural weight management system: hunger and fullness. The diet industry makes billions of dollars promoting solutions that don't last. Fortunately, the secret is out. Physiological hunger tells people when to eat, and fullness, not "unbutton your top button" stuffed, but being satisfied, tells them when to stop.

People have to understand that they didn't gain weight because they weren't on a diet or they weren't eating diet foods; they gained weight because they regularly ate food for reasons other than hunger and stopped beyond their comfort level. They ate when they were not hungry and they kept on eating after the point of nourishment. Excess food equals excess weight, and that excess is because people eat for reasons other than to nourish their bodies.

Food is fundamentally for survival. However, instead of making nourishment the primary goal, people eat to feed their emotions or to satisfy their taste buds. How many people grab food without even a second thought as to whether or not they are hungry? It's there, so they eat it. And when they eat, they overeat. People eat to escape and distract themselves. They eat to socialize and celebrate.

One major fallacy promoted by the diet industry is that specific foods are "bad" while others are "good." Although some foods are healthier and more nourishing, for the purpose of weight-loss, food quality or lack thereof does not cause weight gain. The culprit is the quantity of food. No one item of food causes someone to gain weight. Natalie Martin, a physician's assistant, created a body image seminar with her friend, Cynthia Culver. The seminar was entitled, "When it comes to body image, the question isn't 'What are you eating?' but 'What's eating you?'" She makes this bold statement: One could eat only cheesecake to hunger and fullness and never gain weight or they could overeat grilled chicken salad, no dressing and gain weight. Her point? No food is "bad." Food is neutral. Even cheesecake is not "bad." Overeating of anything will cause someone to gain weight, even if it's overeating fruits and vegetables. Martin and Culver both suffered from compulsive overeating until their discovery of the hunger and fullness method. Now they have been able to maintain their weight-loss of over 30 pounds for over four years without spending a dime on a diet or diet foods. This internally controlled weight management system (hunger and fullness) has also been dubbed "normal eating," "non-dieting," and "intuitive eating."

Another promoter of this lifestyle is Linda Moran who authors the Non-Dieting web log. She is also linked with Diet Survivors, a monthly newsletter by Betterway Press, that encourages people to listen to the internal cues of hunger and fullness and get out of the trap of dieting.

As mentioned before, all diets work, but people can't maintain them for life. What works is a lifestyle change. Listening to the internal cues of hunger and fullness instead of relying on external rules and restrictions will bring people to their proper body weight, the weight where their body functions optimally. So forget all the pills, powders, chalky protein bars, diet books, and everything else promoted by the multi-billion dollar weight-loss industry. The secret is out. Now you can save money and lose weight!

Midori is a freelance writer who travels between San Antonio and the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area with her Great Dane/Lab, Dante.

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  • Use the tools available at Spark People, a free website that lets you log your eating and exercise.

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