The Case Against Diets: Why You Should Never Diet (What To Do Instead) Neil O’Nova @Stronger+Leaner

Diets suck. Now the word “diet” has 2 meaning: it can
mean the food that you regularly eat, “your diet,” like a panda eats a diet of bamboo
leaves, or it can mean “going on a diet.” And when I use the word here that’s what I
mean: GOING on a diet to lose weight. I don’t have to by a psychic to guess that
you’ve probably tried to diet before, and it didn’t work. Either you didn’t lose weight, or you did,
and then you regained it. I can say this very confidently because the
statistics are…overwhelming. The vast majority of people who go on a diet
don’t lose any weight. And of that minority who DO lose weight, the
vast majority of THEM will regain all of it-and often even more–in a relatively short amount
of time. Here’s just a quick overview of the case against
diets: 35.7%. According to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), 35.7% of Americans are obese. (Not overweight…obese.) That’s about 250 million people who would
love to change their bodies. What happens when they try to change their
bodies? 95%. According to a document from the University
of Colorado-Boulder, 95% of diet attempts fail. In other words, 19 out of every 20 people
who go on a diet will either fail to lose any weight at all–or they’ll gain back all
the weight they lose within 2-3 years. But it gets worse… 83%. According to researchers at UCLA, 83% of dieters
not only gain back all the weight they lost within 2 years, they actually gain back MORE
weight than they had in the first place. Five years later, more than half had gained
an extra 11 pounds. 97%. In another study published by the International
Journal of Obesity, 97% of people who lose weight regained it within a few short years. 99.5% Arthur frank medical director of George
Washington University weight management program reports: Out of 200 people who diet, only
10 lose weight, and only 1 keeps it off. That’s a failure rate of 99.5%. I could go on–there are MANY studies like
this–but you get the idea. They just don’t work. Sorry, if you love diets, but the fact is,
they’re worse than bad…worse than ineffective…they’re HOPELESS. Now Here’s The Good News. First of all, it means that you’re not alone. You’re not alone, and there’s nothing wrong
with you. You don’t have a slow metabolism, you aren’t
addicted to sugar, you probably don’t have a weird hormonal issue causing your weight
gain. The truth is, you didn’t fail at your diet… Your diet failed you. Dieting is like going into a garden and trimming
the weeds. First of all, it’s hard work. And it will work…sort of. It will make your garden look weed-free. For a while. But the weeds are still there, under the surface. And their roots are still choking the life
out of your garden. The only way to really solve the problem is
to pull those bastards out by the roots. A UCLA researcher and professor named Traci
Mann did a study on the long-term effects of diets, and what did he have to say? Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss
or health benefits for the majority of people. –Traci Mann, UCLA Associate Professor of
Psychology That sounds pretty bad. But it actually gets worse. Because when you look at the data, it appears
that diets actually lead to weight GAIN…consistently. For almost everybody. Another UCLA researcher working with Traci
Mann said: “Several studies indicate that dieting is actually a consistent predictor
of future weight gain.” You’re probably wondering…WTF? How can a diet that’s meant to help you LOSE
weight actually make you GAIN it? It seems counterintuitive, but multiple studies
show that diets actually make us eat MORE. That might sound crazy, but it’s true, and
it’s verified in multiple published studies. A 1999 study by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman
found that dieters were more likely to overindulge than non-dieters. The reason is because when dieters “go off
their diet,” they go WAY off their diet and binge. The reason why? Because it leads to obsessing about food,
binge eating, and emotional suffering. People who diet become “anxious, apathetic,
and withdrawn” and “lost ambition and sense of humor,” “decreased concentration and sex
drive,” and showed “signs of depression.” Diets also lead to a cycle where we binge,
and then we feel guilty. That makes us try to diet even harder…which
makes us even more likely to binge. That’s the definition of a vicious cycle. And this even happens to people who are not
overweight. One study took men who were perfectly well-adjusted
and had a normal body weight. They followed the men for several months before
the study just to make sure they had no issues around eating. They put them on a 1600 calorie diet. What happened? The men developed body image issues and started
to feel fat. They ended up with emotional hunger binges
that were RAVENOUS, even after the study was over. According to Josie Spinardi and her excellent
book “How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too,” (highly recommended book btw),
This study would no longer be allowed because the APA would consider it unethical and inhumane. Josie has a few more reasons why diets don’t
work: Diets cause cravings and make you obsess over
food because your brain thinks it’s scarce. Diets make you less in control of your eating. Diets cause stress. By putting your neocortex (thinking brain)
in charge of food, it makes every meal a difficult and stressful decision. (One study showed that dieters feel anxiety,
stress, and guilt just from LOOKING at a picture of chocolate…and they didn’t even eat any!) Diets increase stress-related eating. Diets cause you to eat uncontrollably when
you “go off your diet.” Diets don’t solve the real issue. On top of that, I’d like to add a few basic,
obvious reasons why diets don’t work. They’re hard. People like to eat. Nobody likes to feel hungry. You eat all the time. If you eat 3 meals a day, plus 1-2 snacks,
let’s call that eating 5 times a day. That’s 35 times a week or 1820 times a year. That means that if you want to lose weight
and keep it off for the next 10 years, that’s 18,200 times that you have to say “no thank
you” to pizza and have a chicken breast salad instead. That’s a lot of choices. It’s just about impossible to “be good” that
consistently. Now here’s the good news. Even though diets don’t work, it IS possible
to lose weight. In fact, not only can you lose weight, you
can completely and radically transform your body. And you know this is true, because you’ve
seen it. You’ve read the success stories. You’ve seen the before and after pictures. You’ve seen people on TV lose weight. You probably know someone who lost a lot of
weight. I know it’s possible because…I did it. And so did my brother. So…how did these people do it? And more importantly, how do YOU do it? The truth is, as we’ve learned in this video,
that nobody can stick to a “diet” forever. So in order to lose weight and keep it off,
the trick is to make your diet stick to you. And you do that by taking your food decisions
out of your neocortex (thinking brain) and put them back where they belong in the habitual
part of your brain. First, though, we have to change the habitual
part of your brain. We have to rewire it with healthy habits that
help you lose weight and achieve a lean, sexy figure. This is possible because of something called
neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is a fancy word but it means
something very simple: You can change your brain. As we develop more and more sophisticated
brain imaging studies, we’re learning that it’s possible to physically change the way
your brain is wired. Your brain has neural pathways–brain circuits–and
the stronger a pathway is, the more likely you are to engage in the behavior that pathway
leads to. But by creating new neural pathways, that
lead to healthier behavior, you’ll become more likely to eat right…and the old neural
pathways that led to overeating will fade away over time. Neuro-plasticity is important because the
truth is, and I believe this in my core: you’ll never achieve lasting weight loss without
it. I believe that the people who HAVE lost weight
and kept it off did so by changing their brain, whether they knew it or not. So how do you rewire your brain for permanent
weight loss? Well, that should be pretty simple… By buying all my courses! (I’m kidding of course. You definitely don’t have to buy all my courses.) Have you ever heard of a “focusing illusion”? A focusing illusion is when you focus on what
you want…and it turns out that you were focusing on the wrong thing. For example, true story, a football team once
signed a quarterback, but they were worried that he threw too many interceptions. So they put a clause in his contract that
penalized him for every interception he threw. They thought this would help cut down on his
interceptions. What happened? The quarterback stopped throwing the ball
altogether. Instead of making a potentially risky throw,
he would tuck the ball and run, or take a sack, or throw an incompletion, or run out
of bounds. He never took a risk, he only threw passes
that were super-safe, and as a result, he was a horrible quarterback. The team focused way too much on the wrong
thing: interceptions. Another example is computer programmers. Some companies pay their programmers by how
many lines of code they write. The more lines of code you write, the more
money you get. The companies thought this would make their
programmers more productive by giving them an incentive to write more code. Instead… What happened was, programmers started writing
really long code. They added in extra loops and calls and functions
and all sorts of technical programmer stuff. They weren’t being more productive…they
were being LESS EFFICIENT. Using more lines of code to accomplish the
same thing. And the result of inefficient code is, you
get software and programs that are SLOW. These companies focused way too much on the
wrong thing: total lines of code. There are a ton more examples of focusing
illusions. The book, “The Myth of the Garage” has a bunch. People in the midwest who have cold winters
tend to think that people in California are happier…but they’re not. The midwesterners are just focusing on the
wrong thing, weather. The reason I bring this up is because weight-loss
is FULL of focusing illusions. And many of these focusing illusions sound
sexy and tempting–things like carbs and cardio, raspberry ketones and green coffee extract. But they’re the wrong things to focus on. The reason the course you’re about to watch
is so powerful is because it gives you the RIGHT things to focus on: things like your
beliefs, your habits, your goals, your emotions, your social support, and your willpower. Get excited, because you’ve got a whole lean
lifetime ahead of you, and today is the first day of it.


  1. Ok, so what do you guys think? Knowing this new information, are you going to take a different approach to weight loss? Why or why not?

  2. love video sent by XDALR

  3. In my experience the re- wiring of the brain comes from being more athletic. When you define youself as an athlete who got performence goals you will be more motiveted and you will stick to your program more because the goal is much more narrow (MUCH more narrow then "be lean"). Also, performence acheivment is much more satisfing in my eyes.

  4. Also, all the extreme diets out there are absolutly pointless because you they dont teach you how an healthy diet should feel like and how it can be controlled.
    Exercising and healthy, balanced diet (in terms of micro nutrients) should do the trick. Also, SMALL calorie deficit shouldnt be that harmful if you pay attention to your mental well being.

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