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Understanding The Misconceptions of Dieting

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This research task was conducted in order to understand what the misconceptions of dieting are. The information obtained mainly focuses on how gender, age, dieting goals of different people affect there dieting choices as well a studies done on the effectiveness of dieting routines.

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How age influences your dieting choices

Initially, the pie chart showing the ages of people who completed the survey, suggests that people between the ages of 18-25 are trying to improve there lifestyles, physiques as well as general health as that is the age a person would generally be looking for a spouse. The scatter plot showing the amount of weight lost or gained indicates that the average fluctuation of weight change was around 10 kg, with 30kg being an outlier. This suggests that different diets result in different amounts of weight loss or gained due to either age, gender, discipline or effectiveness of the specific diet.

How Gender influences your dieting choices

According to the pie chart showing the gender of the people being surveyed, majority of the people surveyed were female. This suggest that females are more weight conscious than males as well as the advertising industry mainly being focused on targeting woman to provide them with weight loss strategies and dieting routines. Another possible influence could be social media where there is a lot of false dieting advice mainly for women. In source 1.2, there was a study done on college students to see if women are more likely to diet than men. As Dr Judy of the University of Nebraska writes, “These findings are in agreement with reports of women’s tendency to hold stronger beliefs related to nutrition than men.” They found that even though a few men are sensitive to having excess body fat, it was to a greater extent for woman. Young adults eating habits tend to worsen when in college as they are eating cheaper less nutritious foods. 45.2 % of men were found to be overweight, while only 13.9 % of women were overweight. however , 57.4 % of woman believed that they needed to lose weight, while only 28.6 % of the men believed they needed to.

The most popular dieting goal

As seen in the pie chart showing the dieting goals of 30 people, majority of the people’s dieting goals are to lose weight. This can be linked to the fact that majority of the people surveyed were female, suggesting that women generally tend to want to lose weight.

Dieting routines

In the surveys conducted, it was seen that The most popular ‘diet’ was the avoidance of unhealthy food but this does not mean it is the most effective choice. There is a huge misconception that avoiding ‘unhealthy’ foods is a way to change your body composition. Although ‘healthy’ foods are good for your health, usually because healthy foods are associated with foods high in vitamins and minerals, that does not necessarily mean they will aid weight loss. Furthermore, it can be seen that majority of people believe that avoiding sugary and high fat foods is beneficial, when in fact it can sometimes be the opposite. Source 1.3 suggests that avoidance of unhealthy foods can be the least effective.

The bar graph showing the outcomes of specific dieting choices shows that majority of the people maintained their weight and the minority lost weight. This suggests that most of the diets were not successful as the goal of most of the people surveyed was to lose weight and the outcome was that they either maintained weight or gained weight. Only 20% actually lost weight.

This is not to say that you will not lose weight if you follow a strict eating habit but 95% of people who did lose weight, by attempting a program, end up regaining that weight in about a years time.(Around 60% of the people surveyed only kept to their diets for 1-6 months, while only 23% kept to their diets for more than a year. This suggests how most diets are either not effective enough to see results in the first 6 months so the person will quite, or the diet can be too strict to the point where it is psychologically straining, such as the the avoidance of unhealthy foods, and the person will give up on their diet and start binging.)

In addition restrictive diet may lead to overeating or bingeing. (Around 70% of the people surveyed binge every week to every once in a while. Although, in some cases binging every once in a while can be a good thing for your mental health – when you’re on a strict diet. However, this reinforces how ineffective some diets can be because if your diet was effective, there would be no need to binge.)

Fad diets can do more harm than good. They end up not educating you on the correct ways to diet and when you are finished them, you end up going back to your normal unhealthy eating patterns. Dieting and frequent weighing of oneself can lead to eating disorders. According to a source people who diet are eight times more likely to develop a eating disorder disorder as people who do not diet. Selig recommends that a way to permanent healthy weight loss is to lose diets altogether. She recommends a lifelong program which involves eating healthy and exercising every single day or at regular intervals.

Only 7% of the people surveyed rated their diet 10 out of 10. This suggests that very few people would keep to their diet throughout their life and again reinforcing how majority of the people surveyed have unsuccessful dieting routines.

Calorie Restriction

Your weight is determined if you’re in a caloric surplus or a caloric deficit. There are many claims that you can eat whatever you want as long as it is in your calorie range for the day, which is technically true in terms of body composition but from a health perspective you should be thinking about the nutritional value of the foods as well. In addition this source 1.5 provides studies that have shown that people who document their food intake by using a journal have a noticeable improvements compared to those who don’t. By knowing a coffee it’s only 10 calories and that a cappuccino is only 100 calories it gives you the opportunity To eat more while taking in less calories. This can allow for the diet to last longer as it is not mentally straining. Studies also found that reducing your plate size can dramatically reduce your food intake by 22%.

Carb Restriction

There are a lot of claims that carbohydrates are the enemy and that they turn into fat. For most healthy and reasonably active people carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and are transported to the cells for energy. Very little is actually turned into fat. The type of carbohydrates you consume do matter. The ones from simple sugars such as honey and fruits, if consumed in excess, are more readily turned into fat. Although low carbohydrate diets show a significant amount of weight loss in the initially, it is most likely due to water loss, which will return in later phases when you are encouraged to eat normally again.

The Paleo diet

Many find this diet easy to follow because of its straightforward guidelines and that it promotes more nutrient absorption. However, as the diet cuts out all grains and legumes, people will lose and important source of dietary fibre necessary to keep bowels running smoothly as well as constipation.

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Ultimately, majority of the results recorded and studies provided suggest that dieting is a subject which very few people are sufficiently educated on.

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