The Problem with the Diet Mentality

by | Jan 3, 2015 | Last updated Mar 17, 2023

There were a staggering 108 million people on a diet in the United States in 2012, with the typical dieter making four to five attempts to lose weight per year. The weight loss industry rakes in $20 billion in annual revenue, yet with all of the diet books, drugs, and surgeries available, people continue to struggle with weight loss.

With all of the weight loss aid available, why do people continue to gain and lose weight in a seemingly neverending cycle? Researchers have identified a thought pattern deemed, “The Diet Mentality.” People with a diet mentality tend to follow a predictable cycle. They begin by going on a diet that restricts calories or certain foods that, in the long-term, cannot be sustainable. With an inadequate amount of calories to fuel the body and a lack of nutrients to keep the body satisfied, most dieters find themselves with cravings that cannot be overcome. Once dieters give into cravings, an all or nothing perspective takes over, followed by feelings of shame and guilt, and more often than not, weight gain. This, in turn, can lead to dieters starting the cycle all over again. Sound familiar?

If it does, you’re not alone. People who are overweight report that they have tried an average of 13 diets. Why have Americans fallen into a never ending dieting cycle? The restrictive, negative nature of diets sets us up for struggles and almost guarantees defeat. When we forbid ourselves from eating certain foods, our cravings for them intensifies. So how do we break the cycle?

Instead of restricting certain foods, eating habits should focus on nourishing the body with food while still allowing for healthy pleasures. Noom encourages you to be healthy in the body you’re in, allowing for safe and sustainable weight loss. No foods are off limits — but we encourage Noomers to eat nutrient-dense foods that supply lasting energy. Weight loss can be hard, but it should be a positive and rewarding journey. So let’s move away from the Diet Mentality and eat for a healthier you.