False Hope Syndrome In Dieting

False Hope Syndrome In Dieting

Many people continue to practice the same diet fad or routine to lose weight even after the effort is proven to be ineffective. This mentality of dieters is called the False Hope Syndrome and happens due to:

  1. Overestimating the weight loss amount.
  2. Misjudgement of the time it would take to lose weight.
  3. Not knowing how easy or difficult it would be.
  4. Unrealistic expectations of the result of weight loss.
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A dieter often believes the diet is the cause of failure, and he or she hasn’t tried hard enough. They overlook their own habits and behaviours and blame their intake.

We like to be in control of any situation, and have false hopes about the benefits of the ‘perfect diet’ we are consuming. The media and marketing companies are also contributing to plant unrealistic expectations in many people trying to lose weight.

Dieting is not as easy as portrayed by the media. Many people abandon the process midway or replace them with realistic and scaled-down versions.

  • One has to realize that dieting is a long-term process and one has to create systems that encourage habitual and behavioural changes that are not abandoned after a month.
  • One should not see a failed effort as something to be ashamed of, but try to learn and evolve from it.
  • One has to let go of unrealistic expectations and be practical.

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When we are hungry, the hormone ghrelin stimulates the brain. Our brains pay more attention to cues for unhealthy foods—those which are high in sugar and fat—than healthy foods when we are hungry. 

It may be possible to train ourselves to ignore tempting cues.

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Researchers have observed weight regain following weight loss across a range of populations and types of weight-loss diets.

Different Outcomes

We're all different. If we are all on the same weight-loss diet, there will be various outcomes. Some people will lose a lot, some will lose a little, and a few will even gain weight.

Science still can't tell us why some people lose weight easier than others.

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