Whether you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Imagine how many millions of dollars will be spent in the month of January on diet books, pills, foods and programs…. most of it for naught.  According to the American Dietetic Association, diets have a 5.2% success rate.  That means 5.2% of the time someone will lose weight on a diet and keep it off for five years or more.  It’s interesting when someone tells me they plan to start a particular popular diet plan because it worked for them last year.  With all due respect, if it worked, they wouldn’t be going on it again.

One reason diets don’t work is a lack of truthful education.  I hear people say, “I gained two pounds – it’s the cheesecake I ate last night.”  You cannot gain two pounds of fat in a day, nor would one piece of cheesecake do it.  Often people are simply not aware of the food they eat.  To gain 10lb in one year you need only eat an extra 96 calories per day.  That’s very easy to do and not realize it.

Another reason is emotional eating.  Do you ever eat when you’re not hungry, but angry, sad, bored or simply because it’s there?  The thing is, eating doesn’t solve the problem that you’re trying to get away from.  It just adds to your stress by adding unwanted and unneeded calories to your body.

Eat when you’re hungry – this alone can save you from many unwelcome pounds.  Notice your eating habits and look for times that you eat other than when hungry.  Next time take a 10 minute walk and avoid excess calories, soothe negative feelings, and burn 50 or more calories while you’re at it.  Exercise is a great stress reliever and calorie burner.  And, studies show exercise leads to more permanent weight loss than dieting.

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