Traci Mann on Why Diets Don’t Work

Several folks asked me to re-post some of Traci Mann’s lecture on why diets don’t work. I haven’t been able to get hold of that stuff just yet, but did find this older article on her research at UCLA to tide you over.

The sound byte:
“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. Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people.”

But be sure to read the whole article here.

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12 Responses to “Traci Mann on Why Diets Don’t Work”

  1. Make Do Style

    Interesting stuff, look forward to interview again.

  2. Diana

    Very true. This is why I refuse to ever put myself on a diet. The key is to make lifestyle changes that you can sustain and that you enjoy. If you hate going to the gym, it will be hard to continue doing that overtime. If you hate eating asparagus, then why are you eating it?
    For me, the important part has become not worrying so much about what the scale says, and instead living in a way that makes me feel good in my own skin. I love to exercise, and I try to intentionally eat good and delicious foods that are also good for me. But I still eat chocolate and ice cream and drink coffee every day. And I'm happy with myself. My weight has stayed about the same, but my quality of life has improved, and that's what really matters.

    Whew, that was much longer than I thought it would be đŸ™‚

  3. neira

    i totally agree with that!
    just be healthy, be what you want..there is not point in having that kind of control when you only live once..there's too much stress put in it and its completely useless. People regain that weight.

    awesome post!


  4. eednic

    i've heard this many times too and have actually had it happen to me! i once lost about 10 pounds, gained all of it back, and more! on my most recent weight loss journey, which i started 8 weeks ago, the benefit i had going into it was that i was already working out frequently. i decided i just needed to adjust my eating habits. i am counting calories, but in the process, because i work out regularly and get DAMN HUNGRY, i have been searching for alternatives that i actually like! such as sugar free jello pudding and jello, and skinny cow ice cream bars. i've also discovered i positively LOVE vegetables, especially broccoli. who knew? i mean. i already sorta likes broccoli, but i just can't get enough of it! i've also gotten better at picking out places to eat that have healthy options. sandella's flat bread, for example, is full of delicious low-cal goodies including quesadillas (for like under 500 calories HELLO!) and wraps and paninis and flatbreads that look and taste like pizzas but have much less fat and calories. awesome. there's a lot of good tasting good for you food out there! that makes me much happier than a big nasty cheeseburger and fries (which i still love, but will just learn to partake of far less often). so far i have lost 14 pounds. that's about .25 of a pound per day. anyways i tend to babble and blabber but this is interesting and i'm really happy i've found real life solutions i can live with. (mongolian BBQ included!)

  5. My Wooden Heart

    Very interesting, and I have to agree with that…why diet? Just eat well, exercise, be active and enjoy life. Dieting is sooo difficult and it always comes back.


    lifestyle changes is better than dieting…the word DIE in diet creeps me out already! Fab weekend to you, beautiful! (me-already so preeety already-woo-hoo!!!)

  7. Sher

    You probably think since I'm thin I've never had to worry about weight. But as soon as I hit my 40s my metabolism changed and I started gaining weight. I tried certain diets but I ended up being hungry the starting to get "obsessed" by food. It was always on my mind. What I've found works for me is, when I feel clothes getting tight again. I completely stop all snacking.(so my intake of calories drop from that) And start walking more. (burning a little more each day and over time does raise my metabolism)

  8. Winnie

    I can definitely see the logic to this. I guess to really keep your new 'weight' it means to actually change your way of eating for the long term rather than short term!

  9. Spandexpony

    I never diet. It's against my religion. I just try to decide what it is EXACTLY that I want to eat in the moment, and then I am quite satisfied. This can be frustratng to others if they're going out to eat with me, though.
    PS– just wanted to let you know I've got a contest going on you might enjoy, being that you like to "groove your body" every Saturday night. It's for an iPod Shuffle.
    Til Later!

  10. dapper kid

    I am definitely not a believer in the general concept of dieting. Good and healthy eating and exercise are the only real ways to keep your weight and health at optimum levels. I think people are too quick to jump into believing what they think their body should look like, rather than seeing themselves as a unique individual, with a unique body.

  11. Anonymous

    Does "The Biggest Loser" not feed the dieting frenzy? I wonder how those people can maintain that pace once they get back home! I am on week 3 of trying to get my body back. I had to completely stop my addiction to coca-cola and my favorite snack of chocolate chips and pretzels. I thought it would be a LOT harder than it's actually been. I eat a lot of salads now, which I'm loving, and drinking loads of water. I don't touch the scale, so don't know how much I've lost, I'm checking the mirror every day for the changes I want to see. It's slow going but necessary for me.