According to the psychologist the effect of the milk shake was to undermine the dieters resolve, temporarily releasing them from their vows of abstinence. After the milk shake, instead of doing penance for the calorific sin, the dieter persists in sinful indulgence, say the psychologists. After all, if staying on the diet is no longer possible then why not make the most of the situation. This seductive thought process – I may as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb – is a trap which awaits all dieters. After succumbing to one biscuit you feel such a failure you consume the whole packet. You decide to ditch the diet for the day and start again tomorrow.
Aside from the psychological and physiological effects of dieting, when we consider advising people to diet we must bear in mind what we know about they way human beings respond to and comply with any kind of advice, medical and otherwise. Compliance will always be affected by the process itself whether it is simple or complex, the degree of behavioural change needed and whether it fits with the personality and lifestyle of the person. Compliance will be affected by the value of the outcome, and the goals of dieting – weight loss – may contain unrecognised difficulties if achieved. Compliance is also affected by many factors in the dieter herself, including beliefs about his or her personal efficacy, ability to handle lapses, singularity of purpose and ability to muster the right kind of social support. Kelly Brownell has also identified a crucial element influencing the prognosis of dieting behaviour which he defines as “emotional readiness.” This concept proposes that in order for dieting to be successful one has to go into “training” for it in much the same way as one would go into training for other projects like climbing a mountain or studying for an exam.
At the very least, there are some facts about the experience of dieting and its psychology which women with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating or obesity should understand, if they wish to overcome their eating problem or lose weight successfully. This will explain why dieting is so difficult and why when weight is lost most people cannot keep it down.
Dieters and non diets alike explain the difficulty of losing weight in terms of a concept called “willpower” – successful dieters have it and failed dieters do not. This idea is so popular as an explanation for failure to lose weight that advisors who prescribe weight loss plans for people are puzzled, angry or at least resigned when a person returns to be weighed not having lost an ounce and often having gained weight.
Discuss explanations for the success and failures of dieting
Hence, as far as dieting success is concerned, much of what is written in the popular press has an optimistic flavour. Despite poor success rates, even the professionals who proffer diet plans believe that successful dieting is possible – any one can do it if they try hard enough to follow the advice they are given. In actual fact there is no evidence for this assumption. At best modern weight control programmes can achieve weight losses of around 15 pounds but the proportion of people who maintain their losses for over 5 years is in single figures. Only one in twenty people who join commercial weight control programmes is said to reach goal weight – but not all of these people are clinically obese and there is no information about how many of the successes re-enrol at a later date. Further, half of all dieters put back even more weight than they have lost. Obviously something else is going on.
Posted May 16, 2017 by under Success and failure of dieting essay
At first they explained differences in success / failure in terms of personality, neuroticism and many other psychological constructs. Now we know that the difference between success and failure cannot be explained by one single phenomenon.
Discuss Explanations for the Failure and success of dieting
Although the flavour of this essay in relation to dieting is rather negative, it would be imprudent to suggest that all dieters struggling with the cravings and emotional consequences of dieting, should forthwith reject their diets. Many of these people have become locked in a faulty relationship with food, and many are out of touch with their normal appetite, only able to maintain some semblance of control within the guidelines of any diet plan. They stand in danger of gaining weight quickly if they are not given advice to help them over what may be a lengthy transitional period.