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As I understand it, most dieters will regain the weight lost and then some more after each diet. What evidence is there to support diets rather than other forms of help?

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    Bad question in my opinion. A diet is what we are all on, it is simply what we eat. If we change our diet to reduce our calorie intake below our calorie expenditure we will lose weight. If we change it to increase calorie intake above our calorie expenditure we will gain weight. – Ardesco Apr 20 '11 at 10:40
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    @Ard: I disagree. Sure we're all on a diet, but the act of dieting is a very established colloquial term for sticking to not just any diet, but a restrained one (in some particular aspect), in an effort to lose gain. I think it's clear from context that this is what's being referred to. The longitudinal efficacy of such diets can indeed be questioned. – David Hedlund Apr 20 '11 at 12:08
  • If you modify your diet so that your calorie intake is less than your calorie expenditure for x period of time, and then change your diet back to one where your calorie intake is above your calorie expenditure again you are going to gain weight again. This is basic stuff, what is there to dicsuss from a skeptics point of view? – Ardesco Apr 20 '11 at 12:20
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    @Ard: A lot of people try to go on a very restrictive diet to lose weight quickly, with the intention to find a less restrictive, but still balanced diet once they've reached their ideal weight, in order to maintain it. A lot of other people argue that statistically, that never happens. If there are studies to back such claims, that's for skeptics to discuss. I've also heard claims that a lot of restrictive diets will mess up your metabolism, so that maintaining a weight is actually harder for those who have achieved it by dieting. If there's evidence to back such claims, that's relevant too – David Hedlund Apr 20 '11 at 12:48
  • In that case surely the question should ask if going on x type of diet is bad for your health. The question appears to be asking if any type of diet is bad for your health which is obviously incorrect. – Ardesco Apr 20 '11 at 12:53
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Diet helps loosing weight but doesn't teach the person doing the diet to eat better.

To keep the lost weight away, healthy habit and a positive attitude must be taken.

Once you have achieved a desired weight, a positive attitude is very important in your efforts to successfully manage it. To lose weight permanently, you must make a commitment to gradually adopt a healthier way of life.

from

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=42588

Diet in itself is not bad but diet alone doesn't fix the core of the problem: food habits.

  • Is the Diet in itself is not bad part something you know for sure, or was it just an offhand comment? I've frequently heard claims about many diets actually messing up your metabolism. I can't comment on the merit of such claims, though. – David Hedlund Apr 20 '11 at 12:06
  • You are correct. I should give more detail about that. Not all diets are good and it becomes really hard to get into healthy habits after that. – Nicolas de Fontenay Apr 20 '11 at 12:39

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