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Why Does Your Weight Loss Diet Always Fail?

From the Show: HER
Summary: 45 million Americans will attempt 4-5 diets this year, and most will have a failed outcome.
Air Date: 3/27/14
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Nicole M. Avena, PhD
Nicole Avena PhD headshot 2013Dr. Nicole Avena is a research psychologist and neuroscientist who is an expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction.

She received a Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University in 2006, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University. Dr. Avena presently holds a faculty position at the New York Obesity Research Center, Columbia University.

She has published over 60 scholarly journal articles on topics related to diet, nutrition and overeating. Her research achievements have been honored by awards from groups including the NY Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Dr. Avena's latest book, Why Diets Fail (2014, Ten Speed Press) reviews the research on food addiction and provides a way in which people can remove added sugars and carbohydrates from their diet. Dr. Avena regularly makes public speaking appearances to discuss her research and discoveries throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

She is regularly asked to speak to special-interest groups, industry groups, and schools. She has appeared on several television news programs (in NY, AZ and FL), The Couch, and recently taped a segment on sugar addiction for The Dr. Oz Show (airing in March 2014). She has also been a guest on several radio programs, and has been filmed for two documentaries on the obesity epidemic.

Dr. Avena's work has also been featured in many popular print forums, including Shape, Women's Health, NY Times, Bloomberg Business Week, and Men's Health.

Dr. Avena has a blog on Psychology Today, and you can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook.
Why Does Your Weight Loss Diet Always Fail?
No matter what time of year it is, you may feel like you're constantly dieting.

You've tried everything from Atkins to Paleo to juicing, but nothing is working.

Turns out 45 million Americans will attempt four to five diets this year, and most will have a failed outcome.

So, are you destined to fail?

Diets are short-term fixes for something that needs to be addressed throughout your life. It shouldn't be about your diet, it should be a lifestyle change. Restricting your caloric intake may help shed a few pounds at first, but eventually that will not be enough for your body to continue to lose weight.

Another issue is that whatever diet you're following at the moment doesn't address the addictive nature of sugar. You may have cravings, headaches, and feel sick when you're not eating the foods you're used to consuming on a daily basis.

Recent studies conducted by Connecticut College have shown that sugar can affect your brain in ways that are similar to drug addiction.

Are there steps to help wean your body off sugar?

This is a little tricky, since sugar is found in almost everything that you consume. To quit eating sugar instantly is nearly impossible.

It may not happen overnight, but it can happen.

Becoming more aware of how much sugar you are eating is the first step, and making sure you understand how to read the nutrition labels on the foods you're eating is also very important.

Research psychologist and neuroscientist, Nicole Avena, PhD, who is an expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction, shares why all your diets are failing and ways you can manage your eating to begin a new, healthy lifestyle.
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