Walk Talk Nutrition tackles magical thinking

WTNreducedlogoMagical thinking gets in the way of health.

Here’s one thing we agree on: magical thinking about diet and health is counter-productive.  Here’s an example:

“I’m not eating enough to lose weight.”

This statement makes absolutely no sense whatsoever when it comes to dieting.  It’s sometimes referred to as “starvation mode”, meaning now that you’re eating so few calories your metabolism has slowed down so much that you won’t lose anymore weight.  There’s no evidence for this belief, but there’s plenty of historical evidence that weight loss does indeed keep on going during starvation, with dire consequences.  If you’ve reached a weight loss plateau, eating more food isn’t going to help.  Quite the opposite. Yet this is a popular magical idea among dieters and even some health professionals.

Another example:

“Supplement X or Super Food Y will cause you to lose weight.”

Or:

“My metabolism is really special and I can’t eat more than 800 calories or I gain weight.”

As Kathy points out, there’s an easy way to challenge this: get your metabolism tested.  She also wonders why people always pick the number 800 as their supposed calorie limit.

Magical thinking is a good way to set yourself up for dieting failure.  Since the magical idea isn’t going to produce results, it’s easy for you to give up.  Our advice: don’t do it, but of course that may be easier said then done.

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