Welcome to PsychDIETry! We created this blog to help sift through the confusing and seemingly endless amount of information about dieting and provide resources, reporting and opinion, and offer a forum for exchange and debate on the topic. PsychDIETry covers the programs, plans, drugs, scams, and the challenges that many of us struggle with dieting.
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” – Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
This journey began with a long series of conversations. Over a number of years through countless breakfast meetings, coffee shop brainstorms and in recent times hours on the cell-phone, we uncovered a shared passion for understanding people, patterns of behavior, and what distinguishes success from failure in the pursuit of goals, whether it be starting a new venture, losing weight, or running a marathon.
Maybe our world view was swayed by our location in Silicon Valley at the time, or maybe it was that the dialog began during the era of the rise and fall of the internet economy in the late 1990’s, but our conversations revolved around advancements in knowledge and technology and the degree to which people have adopted these advancements to their benefit to do better in life. To some surprise, we found that in the pursuit of goals, the average human “efficiency of life”, if we can use this term to describe how much people achieve in a period of time and how useful those achievements are towards long-term goals, has not changed much over the years and perhaps even over centuries. People and their general behavior have stayed relatively constant despite a virtual revolution in the information and tools at our disposal! One thing that has stayed constant, we know for certain, is the human obsession with dieting and weight loss.
Achieving goals requires the ability to physically conduct the activities that together culminate in the desired end result. It is the sustained, daily commitment to performing tasks that separate success from failure, leaving aside for a moment whether those tasks are the right ones to be doing. A common theme that has been shown across successful people in all endeavors is the commitment to “going the extra mile”, doing just a bit more each day towards ones goals. Without physical health, energy, stamina and mental acuity, there is little hope to succeed. With this in mind, our conversations and research focus on the connection between diet, fitness and health, mental sharpness, behavior and success.
As individuals, we know that we want to weigh less, be stronger, eat better, be healthy and live longer. We also generally know that this will help us get more out of life yet few of us are able to change our routines and habits and sustain new ways of eating, exercising and living. The key word is “sustain”.
Do you remember playing a team sport in grammar or high school? Didn’t you work harder, run faster, and do more when there was a team and a coach? It seems obvious, but why is this? Can the difference be quantified? Is it the coach, the fear of public embarrassment, the desire to prove ourselves in front of others? Why does this environment foster results that are nearly unattainable separately? We might look at the importance of mentoring outside of sports, too. Perhaps different people need different kinds of motivation, or different support systems for each goal.
Our hope is that by deconstructing the successes and examining the failures in the path to self discipline we will shed light on how to become more successful individuals, and assuming “success” has been defined on reasonable terms, become happier as individuals. Weaved into the conversation is the idea that advancements in knowledge and greater access to information can play a leading role in this process if we find better ways to harness and integrate it into our lives.
We are setting out to explore how people are motivated and why so many fail to set and achieve their goals. Why are there so many diet plans and so few long-term successes? What factors come together for successful people in this arena? Is it having the right types of feedback and encouragement? Let’s see if we can find the answers.
We started this blog to expand the dialog and to draw together a collection of commentators, researchers, historians, experts (and perhaps even a few comedians to keep it light) to delve deeper into the subject of diet and life success. We are painting a picture of the complex world of weight management and learning from the long and colorful history of research, programs, plans, drugs, scams, and the underlying frustration of a large segment of the population that struggles with this subject.
We will be posting articles of interest on this subject and invite you to read, comment and add your own stories to the community. PsychDIETry is about getting to the truth in diet and weight loss. We want to help educate people with our forum and learn as a community what the best avenues and components are to successful dieting. We intend to be both a source and a path to other resources related to the topic.
Our approach is to be a convergence of science, research, statistics and the study of human behavior and not just another outlet for what happens to be hot or popular at the moment.
Neil and Steve