New 9 to 5 diet. Will it work for you?

The new diet on the block is the 9 to 5 diet. You eat only between 9am and 5pm. Last year's diet was to eat normally on 3 days and on the other 2 days you fast. I can't remember the diet for 2012 but you can be sure that there was one. And one the year before that and the year before that.

Research shows that even normal shaped and size woman worry about their weight and appearance. And now that anxiety is moving to men too and to parts of the world where body shape was not a concern. As a result, people with weight worries represent a great market opportunity. Every year we get a new approach to getting losing weight and lots of us give them a try, we become serial dieters, but most of us don't lose weight. And if we do, most of us put it all back on again. And the next year we start again. Some people do lose weight and the weight stays off. But the research shows us that the majority do not. Dieting does not have a good track record, yet most of us think that dieting is the only way. And hope springs eternal.

So what about this 9 to 5 diet? I have no doubt that this way of eating will get the weight off, certainly in the short term. Is this because the food we eat after 5pm hangs around and doesn't get used up? That was a belief, but in fact, our bodies are not so discriminating. All calories are equal.

But what does happen with this diet is that we follow a simple rule. By restricting when we can eat, we restrict how much we eat, and I would suggest, we limit what we eat.

A lot of us have got into unhelpful eating habits. In the evening, after tea, we sit in front of the telly and relax with some snacks and a glass of wine. (There is an ad for M&Ms which encourages us to snack in front of the telly in this way.) But if you stop eating at 5pm, then you will not be eating those crisps and biscuits and drinking that relaxing glass of wine. Research shows that those of us who watch telly for more than 4 hours a day are likely to put on weight. Due in part because we are just sitting. Due in part to the snacks and wine, but also because there are so many food ads (the Galaxy ad springs to my mind - slender woman eating Galaxy whilst relaxing on her sofa). Any food ad makes us think of food, and some of us will then end up scavenging in the cupboards and fridge.

So this new diet might work for you. But what about going out? Does this diet mean you can never ever again go out with your friends for a meal, or for a drink? Well, it does, doesn't it. So what will be your response when you are invited out for a fun evening? For many of us, we will go out, break the rules of the diet, and then have the What the Hell effect. Diet  blown, followed by guilt and self-critical thinking, which then leads to a bit of a binge.

So. This diet will work because any restrictive rules restrict your calorie intake. If you are not someone who goes out for social meals, then it might work for you. But diets are not the only way to manage your weight. Come and see me and try a different approach, that will be easy and automatic, without the guilt and bingeing.

What approaches to weight management have you tried already? How did you do?

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