The number one reason people diet is to lose weight, and the diet industry rakes in billions of dollars each year as a result. Yet with all these diet plans, many people still struggle to lose weight and keep it off. The problem is that many diets promise quick results, but the weight loss is not sustained. This creates a cycle of yo-yo dieting. For long-term weight loss, the best approach is to lose at a slow, steady pace of one to two pounds a week.
While being overweight increases risks of certain diseases, being underweight has its own health concerns. To be considered underweight, your BMI (body mass index) must fall below 18.5. Underweight increases risk for:
- Bone loss
- Heart irregularities
- Loss of periods
- Nutrient deficiency
Ninety-five percent of people who lose weight gain it back! One study shows people who have lost 30 pounds or more and keep it off for a year or longer actually lost their initial weight slowly. They also exercised regularly and lived an active lifestyle to help maintain their weight.
To Look Good
Not everyone thinks about health when it comes to diet. They just want to look good and fit into those skinny jeans. Looking good is a benefit of maintaining a healthy weight, but health should not be forfeited in order to lose weight in an unhealthy manner.
Other people want to look good for one special event such as a wedding or high school reunion. The problem with dieting for one special event is that most of the time, once the event is over, the weight comes back on.
With today's busy lifestyles, many of us are looking for more energy and some turn to a nutrient dense diet to get it. This means picking foods that offer the most nutrition per calorie. This includes foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, and lean animal protein.
Sometimes it takes a health scare to get people to rethink their eating habits. Whether it's high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, acid reflux, heart disease, or some other health condition, diet can make a difference for the better.
Some people diet for spiritual reasons. This may include fasting which, in many religious cultures, is a means to help learn the discipline to resist temptation. In other situations, specific foods are forbidden because they are considered unclean or damaging to the body.
Why Do People Diet?
Why do people diet? As you can see, the reasons why people diet are numerous. Whether you're trying to fit into your skinny jeans, get your body ready for that cruise vacation, or want to bring down your blood pressure, the fact is that a healthy balanced diet followed under your doctor's supervision is the best approach.