Your brain also has its own sense of what you should weigh, no matter what you consciously believe. This is called your set point, but that’s a misleading term, because it’s actually a range of about 10 or 15 pounds. You can use lifestyle choices to move your weight up and down within that range, but it’s much, much harder to stay outside of it.

In the US, 80% of girls have been on a diet by the time they’re 10 years old. In this honest, raw talk, neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt uses her personal story to frame an important lesson about how our brains manage our bodies, as she explores the science behind why dieting not only doesn’t work, but is likely to do more harm than good. She suggests ideas for how to live a less diet-obsessed life, intuitively.

Learn why dieting doesn’t usually work

Sandra Aamodt: Why Dieting Doesn't Usually Work

Sadly, a temporary weight gain can become permanent. If you stay at a high weight for too long, probably a matter of years for most of us, your brain may decide that that’s the new normal.

 

Sandra Aamodt: Why dieting doesn’t usually work
TEDGlobal 2013 · 12:42 · Filmed Jun 2013
Read the full transcript here

Let me leave you with one last thought. What if we told all those dieting girls that it’s okay to eat when they’re hungry? What if we taught them to work with their appetite instead of fearing it? I think most of them would be happier and healthier, and as adults, many of them would probably be thinner. I wish someone had told me that back when I was 13.

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