Healthy ways to lose weight without dieting
Trying to lose weight is, for most of us, vexing, exhausting, and filled with contradictory information. In a 2016 article published in The New York Times Magazine, author and neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt notes that there's a robust body of research showing that "in the long run dieting is rarely effective, doesn't improve health, and does more harm than good." The crux of the issue, Amodt writes, is the fact that each person has what's referred to as their body's "set point" — a certain weight range that "varies from person to person, [and] is determined by genes and life experience." The brain will engage in all sorts of tactics to bring the dieting body back into its set point range, and this is why diets so often fail.
The combined effect of all this information — to say nothing of how hard it can actually be to lose weight — can quickly lead to a sense of paralysis and feeling overwhelmed. To say that it's fraught would be an understatement akin to noting that the Titanic had a small misunderstanding with an iceberg.
If diets aren't an effective means of long-term, sustainable weight-loss, then what can help people shed some pounds without the negative consequences of dieting? We spoke with some experts on the matter, and they helped clear away the confusion.