Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, a professor at the University of Ottawa and medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute, both in Canada, is the author of The Diet Fix, which explains “why diets fail and how to get yours to work.” In his book, Dr. Freedhoff acknowledges that modern life leads to weight gain because of the junk food we consume and our sedentary lifestyle and refers to what he calls “the seven deadly sins diet” hunger, sacrifice, willpower restrictions, strenuous exercise, the pursuit of perfection and rejection.
Dr. Freedhoff also states that if you want to lose weight without causing permanent damage to your body, what is important is to change your habits: diets are not the solution as they require an ongoing effort. According to the specialist, we are not able to maintain the same level of sacrifice throughout life: willpower is a “muscle” with great force but little resistance; it can make great efforts, but over time will get tired and just give up. “The great enemy of the diets is time,” says Dr. Freedhoff.
Indeed, the only way to lose weight is through behavior modification: we must change our habits. A habit is a pattern of conduct, which over time and repetition becomes a non-conscious, almost automatic behavior. And once it becomes a habit, it requires little effort to keep it. See advise for a healthy diet here.
Nutritionist Carmen Pont, pharmacist and dietitian at the Institute of Behavioral Sciences of Seville, Spain, believes that instilling good habits—such as “a varied, balanced and healthy diet” from an early age, will help a child to become a healthy adult with normal weight. Benefits of vegetarian cuisine. “Fats are not the enemy and there are no magic supplements or forbidden foods,” says the Spanish nutritionist. “What really matters is variety and moderation in food, and trying to comply with the rite of five frugal meals a day: breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner, accompanied by moderate exercise throughout the day.”
In short, diets are not a panacea. As Professor Freedhoff advises in his book, the principal objective of a diet is to be healthy by balancing our goal of achieving an ideal weight with the will to do it. In other words, the perfect strategy is a change of habits and behaviors. ■