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The Simple Truth:
85% of Dieters will REGAIN EVERY POUND within 2 years.
40% will END UP HEAVIER THAN THEY STARTED.
The approximately 15% who DO lose weight may regain some of it, and many must continue to diet (sometimes forever) to keep the pounds off.
Resources & Research:
This article includes a lot of information on the research underlying the original development of Intuitive Eating. It's very readable and interesting: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4358173/
(the Minnesota Study mentioned here is often referred to elsewhere as the "Starvation Study", and the set of physical, emotional and behavioral ramifications is called the "Starvation Response".) All my clients who have dieted report various experiences of this.
"Traditional diet programs that encourage individuals to consciously restrict their dietary intake have not only been ineffective in terms of weight outcomes, but have also been counterproductive, promoting psychological distress and unhealthy eating behaviors. Non-diet approaches shift the focus away from weight outcomes to the improvement of health outcomes and psychological well-being. One such approach, intuitive eating, promotes dietary intake based on internal cues of hunger and fullness, body acceptance, and making behavior choices based on health as well as enjoyment." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24631111
"... dieting seems to have a paradoxical effect and has been considered a risk factor for weight gain and obesity in women and for maladaptive eating. Nevertheless, the study of the emotional regulation processes that explain the adoption of inflexible and rigid eating behaviors still remains little explored." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25753131
"A recent study by Wood and Ogden interviewed people who underwent bariatric surgery more than 8 years ago . Those who had maintained good weight loss had been more able to ‘functionalize’ food (e.g. ‘eat to live’ rather than ‘live to eat’ [23, 24]) and develop new coping strategies and a more positive self-image ." http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/obr.12518/full