Your diet is what you eat. A weight loss diet (WLD) is a calorie controlled eating plan in its stead. Due to the frequency of WLD's this term has been shortened to "diet" as in "I'm on a diet". It's still a correct use of the term as it is still what you eat /are intending to eat. Here are the sort of questions asked and points raised when people tell the truth about the efficacy of dieting.
Q: You’re saying weight cannot be lost?
A: No, weight can and is lost and gained all the time, it’s the way your body keeps up your supply of energy.
Q: Are you saying people cannot become thinner?
Q: But you are saying diets don’t work?
Q: Isn't that the same thing?
A: No. The key is whether you believe calorie restriction is the only possible way to direct weight loss.
If you believe this then you are saying there is no way for people to be thinner. When something clearly doesn't work and it is said to be the only possible way, then there is effectively no way. I'm just saying whichever way the body does it obviously its not that way.
Q: Why do you think it is possible to lose weight and maintain it?
The way human metabolism functions, it's complexity and nuance. It makes big adjustments in all directions and maintains the weight of fat and thin alike outside conscious direction. We'd be better off finding out how to use it rather than fight it.
Q: So you are saying weight loss isn't hard, it's dieting that's hard?
A: Yes, all the difficulties we associate with weight loss are really those of calories in/ calories out. Dieting is not interchangeable with weight loss it is intention via a certain route.
Q: Why do we think dieting and weight loss are one and the same?
A: We have been taught this by those who's business it is to push and sell weight loss dieting. They want us to compare weight loss dieting with itself not with the way our bodies do it for obvious reasons. They also tell us its the only way for similar reasons
Q: Why is dieting so hard?
A: It is an attempt to adjust the whole of your metabolism with an aspect of it. Its like trying to use an inflowing stream to change and regulate the direction of a river. It could only occur if it can or was going in that direction anyway, which would mean you wouldn't need to direct it that way in the first place.
Q: Surely diets work if you stick to them?
A: WLD’s ”un stickability” is them failing, like when you drift off after trying to stay awake all night, its not that you didn't stick to your plan, it unravelled, so does dieting.
S: It needs to be a life style change.
R: This attempt to address the way dieting is derailed by the body is an admission of its failure, without the acknowledgement of that admission.
S: Good diets work it is fad diets that fail.
R: Again, this is trying to salvage the unsalvageable. There is one form of weight loss diet only and that is calorie restriction/manipulation-there is no other form of weight loss diet; full stop. Therefore it makes little difference what form it takes.
Q: Surely some diets are better for you than others?
A: That some diets tend to inflict greater damage than others is in little doubt, but also, the less harm they cause the less effective they tend to be. Anyway harm caused is not the reason they fail that is the underlying principle which unites them, calorie manipulation.
S: One problem is people under report what they eat.
R: An instance of one dieting's numerous design flaws. The body fights calorie cutting. You carry on, refusing to take no for an answer, it can respond by editing or reshaping your awareness of what you eat to a significant degree, a bit like I've heard some give the overly insistent a fake phone number to get rid of them.
In other words the contempt you show your body by ignoring its responses is returned by it adjusting your filters. Lesson; if you are going to bully something, make sure it has no access to how you perceive things.
S: Some people do lose weight and keep it off.
R: People can be or appear to be ‘cured’ by any prop they invest belief or belief itself, that does not meet the criterion for scientific efficacy. Given the billions of diet attempts there have been over the years it would be extraordinary if there were not a number of exceptions given the variance of human nature. There is a hinterland between dieter and full blown anorexic.
S: Weight loss science will make WLD more effective.
R: Anyone studying calorie restriction as if it works is indulging in quack science. The only reason to study dieting it is to find out why it fails as that is likely to tell us something about how our bodies work.
S: We cannot just give up.
R: “We already have, fixating on failure as if it is success is “giving up” without appearing to do so. Saying that failure is the only way underlines that you have no real intent to succeed.
S: So what can people do, nothing?
R: Doing the best you can with what you have, from where you are i.e. Health at any size (HAES) is not nothing, waiting to psyche yourself up in to the next diet campaign is worse than nothing. Not doing something likely to cause harm is one of the best things anyone can do for their health. That’s why it's the central absolute of the Hippocratic oath-above all do no harm.
The onus on WLD, stigma, stress, pressure etc., is the opposite of that it seeks to bring about health through harm which is an illegitimate aim. It diverts and undermines energy from finding realistic sustainable ideals of self care. Encouraging people to do nothing rather than deal directly with their problems.
Someone who's breathing pattern has been made shallow after a period of negative stress can be fatigued by it. Dealing with that, re-learning how to breathe more deeply, in the right way can elevate energy palpably. That can start and add to a chain of other positive changes.
I'm one of the many fat people who was put off yoga from way back because it wasn't 'fat burning' and so on.
Even if weight loss was achievable this way, it is an unethical and undesirable means; it both depends and causes lack of self worth. Ends do not justify means.