In the news today it is reported that the NHS will be using private companies such as Weight Watchers and Slimming World. It’s fantastic the NHS wants to tackle the obesity crisis, but are these diet plans the way forward? The answer in the short term is yes, as long as you stay on these programmes for the rest of your life then they will, for most people, be effective.
A study carried out to assess how effective Weight Watchers was proved that people lose weight over the 12 week programme. However, the funds for this study came from Weight Watchers so you have to query how subjective the trials were.
You also have to be conscious of the fact that while you’re on these diets you think of food ALL the time! You’re either counting calories all day trying to work out what you’re allowed to eat or figuring out what colour day it is for that particular food group. Doesn’t really sound like a lot of fun.
An independent study by Professor Traci Mann, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) said "Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people," "You can initially lose 5 to 10% of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back. We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority."
Prof Mann concluded that after analyzing 31 long-term studies into a range of diets for between two and five years that most people would have been better off not dieting at all. “"Their weight would be pretty much the same, and their bodies would not suffer the wear and tear from losing weight and gaining it all back," she wrote.
Weight loss and gain over a prolonged period, usually as people try out different diets, has been linked in previous studies to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and altered immune function.
The reason why 95 - 98% of dieters regain the weight they lost within 5 years is that food simply isn’t the problem. There are many underlying emotional issues that create the need to overeat, such as grief, boredom, depression, unhappy relationships, trauma from the past and learnt behaviour. Diet plans do not address these issues and until the issues are addressed then diets will only work whilst you are on them.
People who achieve long term weight loss have a happy and healthy relationship with food unaffected by negative thought patterns. They also realise you have to burn more calories than you ingest to keep the weight off - this can be achieved by an appointment with an accredited dietician or nutritionist.
So if the NHS is planning to plough millions of pounds of the taxpayer’s money into these diets then it’s mostly going to be ineffective, the money would be better used putting salaried professionals into the NHS to address the underlying psychological / emotional needs of the patient.
Unfortunately, the only people to profit from the use of these companies are the companies themselves.
Paul believes hypnosis is empowering and life-changing. Look around the website and get in touch should you have any queries