Aren't we there yet?
Haven't we realised that diets are a bunch of BS and the only good diet is most certainly not a "diet"?
It appears not.
New research by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), found 54 per cent of adults are unhappy with their current weight.
At any given time, about 13 per cent, or more that 2 million Australians over the age of 15 are on a "diet". We're not getting any wiser with age either; as much as 20 per cent of people over the age of 50 are on diets.
We keep bashing away, being dazzled by transformation photos or celebrity (probably paid) endorsements and believing a quick – often weird and highly restrictive – fix will have lasting results.
This is despite 95 per cent of diets failing us.
"Unfortunately, many people are still turning to diets and diet companies to help them with their weight goals," dietitians Melanie McGrice admits.
Granted, there are many paths to the same goal; hopefully genuine health, in this instance, not an image and not a number on a scale.
People have breakthroughs in understanding their bodies in varying ways – sometimes through experimentation, often through trial and error, which can involve trying different diets.
But, none of us should be duped into believing that a diet is ever the answer.
Yet, each year new diets and diet books are spruiked and each year a bunch of experts get together for US News to decide the "best diets" and "worst diets" of the year.
This year, out of nearly 40 diet plans, the worst were Paleo and Whole30.
The Whole30, which has been described as "Paleo on crack", is bound to piss waiters and chefs off if you eat out.
It involves 30 days of "no sugar (even artificial), alcohol (cooking wine included), grains (quinoa counts), legumes (we're looking at you, peanut butter) or dairy (goodbye, Greek yoghurt)".
The good part about it is it involves no calorie counting and is all, as the name suggests, wholefoods. But, as the experts said, there is "no independent research" to support the claims that it will eliminate cravings, rebalance hormones, improve medical conditions, deliver you a new car etc.
Besides, the judging panel says what we need no expert to tell us; it's "restrictive", meaning you will probably at some stage during or immediately after fall and fall hard, into glass of Champagne ... followed by a loaf of bread.
Paleo – which is prohibitive to vegetarians, pasta-lovers and, according to the experts, poor people – came in second-last.
Interestingly, the DASH diet, which emphasises grains, low fat and a provision for sugar, came in at No.1, as it has for multiple years.
This is understandable, given how easy it is to follow and that it is very much in line with both the Australian and American dietary guidelines, but may not have fans everywhere on the front line of nutrition.
Only last week, respected obesity expert and Harvard professor of nutrition David Ludwig said the Western diet as we know it has caused the obesity epidemic.
"It's the low-fat, very high carbohydrate diet that we've been eating for the last 40 years, which raises levels of the hormone insulin and programs fat cells to go into calorie storage overdrive," he said.
Somewhere along the way (the last 40 years as Ludwig suggests) we've become confused and need to radically rethink our approach to food. And that does not mean a different "diet".
It means a shift in the way we treat our bodies in the long term, not over 30 days or however long we manage to adhere to the rules of some new diet fad.
'We all know fad diets come and go, and usually end in failure. So rather than starting the dietmerry-go-round this year, make your New Year's resolution about being more aware of the right portion sizes and how much you're eating,' said DAA spokeswoman Professor Clare Collins, adding that using smaller plates and ensuring vegetables fill at least half the plate are good places to start.
"The best way for people to get permanent results is to get individually tailored advice that's personalised to suit their own unique needs and lifestyle," McGrice adds.
"Personalised advice is about assessing everything that affects what you eat, including your lifestyle, medical conditions, habits, physical activity, food preferences, others in the household and more, and pinpoints the key issues that are causing you problems."