“Only 5% of dieters will succeed at keeping their weight off for 5 years, and only 1% will keep it off for 10 years.”

Such is the cry of the diet gurus. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones who have a magic weight loss formula, or have “unlocked the secrets”. They may even promise that their extraordinary insight is the only path to sustained weight loss.

They cite their mantra moments before parading in their 10 year success stories. Consequently the parade comes just moments before the typical “Click the Buy Now button below right now before…”

Don’t be ashamed that you fell for it. You can always request a refund.

The weight loss industry is a sly and sketchy market.


The truth – that’s where Veronica and I come in – is that no statistically significant data exists to support claims that only 1% or 5% will succeed past 10 or 5 years, respectively!

Once you know that, you’ll never need to buy their expensive remedies or programs again. You won’t need to force yourself to eat bland foods. You won’t need to starve yourself for the short term to lose weight and you certainly won’t need to continue starving yourself for the rest of your life to maintain your new figure once you’ve lost the weight!

The truly sleazy aspect of all of this is that any diet guru worth their salt knows that you believe sustained weight loss is hard. They know that you’ve heard and believe that statement. And they also know that their mantra is an outright lie.

The mantra – “95% of people who lose weight will gain it back – possibly more – within a year” – is based on study conducted in 1959.

The study only involved 100 participants.

The participants were not given support of any type (counseling, meal planning, nutritional information, etc.) other than a “diet plan” to follow and appointments for future weigh ins.

The weight loss industry situation gets worse…

It is so easy for people to get trapped into believing the mantra because years of scientific studies support the mantra as ‘guru truth’.

How? Considering that those studies (1960 to present day) all rely on LCD (low calorie diets) or VLCD (very low calorie diets) you can see how sustained weight loss is only possible for a chosen few. Yes, by starving your body through drastic calorie cuts resulting in fast weight loss, sustained weight loss is nearly impossible.

Armed with that knowledge, here is some true weight loss data. See if you can catch the diet flaws:

  • Stanford University’s site Wellsphere states that only 5 percent of people who lose weight on a crash diet can keep the weight off. (Note that crash diets include severe calorie-restriction diets as well as diets that severely limit which foods you can eat.)
  • New England Journal of Medicine (a small study) shows that when dieters are fed a typical food pyramid diet plus calorie restriction, the hormones that regulate hunger do not substantially change. (To be successful for long term weight loss you’ll need to feel the difference in hunger levels. Talk to anyone who’s been a LCHF or KETO diet for more than 3 months – easily 90% of our readers tell us their hunger waned.) (1)
  • Participants in a small study (800 people as reported on Nutrition.org) were 1.5 times more likely to maintain their loss after 2 years had to maintain a consistent diet every day of the week, every week of the year. No cheats, treats, or mistakes. (This is dependent on consistent food logging and strict adherence to calorie restriction. This type of dieting is not dependent on understanding your body at any stage of life or nutrition at large.) (2)
  • According to the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania, nearly 65 percent of dieters will return to their pre-dieting weight within three years. (Again, evidence that calorie restriction, crash dieting, or dieting without support and training of actual nutrition, doesn’t work in the long term.)

On the flip side we look again at evolution and our past. (We have scant other choices as practically no research has been done on long term weight loss success through eating clean foods in a well-balanced diet. By “well-balanced” we are talking about balancing the macro-nutrient value of foods vs the very barbaric method of calories-in, calories-out.)

If you want to discuss the theory of why calories are remedial for assisting with weight loss, we can have that conversation on another day.

There are many reasons why cavemen, farming communities, most people living pre-Second Industrial Revolution era were thin. Their diets were largely fatty proteins and fiber-rich carbs. Fast burning carbs (or empty carbs) were few and far between.

In the days previous to the Second Industrial Revolution, only the very elite had access to the excess of empty carbs that the average person can get in ample supply in this day and age. As such, the majority of us – the common people – were thin, fit, and healthy.

We merely need to ask our grandfathers and fathers how they ate as a boy. Our grandmothers and mothers how meals looked upon the dinner table when they were girls. Chances are good the table wasn’t piled high with slabs of bread every night or finished off with big bowls of a factory made, sugar-laden dessert.

So if you want to lose weight and keep it off for the long term:

  1. Diet the natural way (with real foods!)
  2. Give your body and hormones time to adjust to the new you. (Ghrelin won’t scream “I’m hungry!” when you’re being fed by balanced macros!)
  3. Don’t starve yourself by restricting calories. (It has been proven ineffective for the long term!)
  4. Learn more about nutrition and how your body feels every day.

In summary, we’re blowing the main gurus’ mantra to bits. This next study below proves that sustained weight loss is entirely possible and can be relatively easy – with just a few conditions.

  • Enjoyable and satisfying food.
  • Support.
  • Education on nutrition.

With education on nutrition and support 42% of over 5100 participants of varying ethnicity kept the weight off for 4 years. While the participants’ exact diet isn’t specified in the study, it is seen that dietitians, psychologists, and exercise specialists provided the knowledge necessary to lose the weight and keep it off. (In the first 4 months, meal replacements and structured meal plans with brisk walking was suggested.)

It is no surprise that all members in this group had been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. The likelihood that their recommended meal plan was low in empty carbs is strong! (3)

Video Discussion on This Topic

This topic was part of our live stream event on Tuesday, October 6, 9:00 am EST. Part of that live stream is below.

(1) http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1105816
(2) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/222S.long
(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183129/

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