America is fascinated with weight loss! We talk about the promises of the newest diet. We are entertained by shows like TV’s hit The Biggest Loser. We make New Year’s resolutions to diet and exercise. When all else fails and we despair and google statistics on weight loss surgeries.
“The U.S. National Weight Control Registry, which tracks the habits of some 5,000 successful maintainers, cites a study showing only a fifth of dieters with a history of obesity sustain a loss of 10% of their body weight for a year or more.” (Time, 2007). Why is that? Why do some of the winners from The Biggest Loser regain their weight? Some studies show that 20% of people will regain their weight after an initially successful weight loss surgery. What is going on?
Many people talk about the need for a lifestyle change and this is so true! But, something seems to get in the way of our making, and more importantly sustaining, these changes. Consider that researchers have said 95% of diets and exercise plans fail. For many who struggle with weight, it’s not about willpower, self-discipline or laziness – it’s about addiction. Diets and exercise do not treat addiction.
Consider the following definition: When we use food or overeating to numb or alter the way we feel and cannot stop this pattern even at the threat of potential health issues – that’s addiction!
Addiction needs treatment, not diets. Once the addiction is under control, the lifestyle changes of healthy eating, exercise, mindfulness, and self-compassion will result in weight loss and if needed an ability to follow through on a healthy weight loss plan.
This is the missing piece.
Wake up America, we aren’t there yet. Let’s talk about the real problem.