“The definition of insanity” said Albert Einstein, “is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.
At least that’s what the internet told me. So it must be true. I reckon Einstein hit upon this slice of wisdom when he was on the rebound from another disastrous yo-yo diet.
If he were alive today, perhaps Einstein could explain why seemingly sane and rational people continue to diet, despite overwhelming evidence — and years of personal experiences — that shows that diets don’t lead to long-term weight loss and in many cases actually cause weight gain.
For the record, when I say “diet” I’m not taking about healthy eating. I’m referring specifically to calorie-restrictive, hunger-inducing deprivation. In other words, “diet” in the sense that most people use the word.
And I know that your great aunt or the guy from work lost weight and managed to keep it off. But these people are the exceptions who prove the rule. And yes, some people, probably most, can go on a diet and shed some kilos. But typically this weight loss is temporary.
If people could lose weight and keep it off long-term then the diet industry wouldn’t be worth $60 billion a year. Weight Watchers alone has annual revenue of $1.75 billion, and one of its former managers has even admitted how unsuccessful the company is at helping people maintain their weight loss.