Summer is quickly approaching, making it hard to go anywhere without seeing ads like "How-To Get a Bikini Body in a Week!" What is a bikini body anyway and how can it be healthy to change in just a week? In my experience, the best solution to improve health is to ditch the diet. There are many studies claiming a non-diet lifestyle provides long-term results.

We have a 33 Billion Dollar Diet Industry

If diets actually worked, why is the industry so profitable? Long-term results are nearly impossible with diets. Think about the last diet you were on.

Did you loose weight? Did you gain it back? What about the diet before that?

Roughly 45 million Americans diet each year. And still, about two-thirds of the Land of the Free are overweight or obese. What's up with that? Diet's don't work. Period. Here is why.

Why Diets Don't Work

It's not a matter of self-control. When one diets, there's changes happening within the body that result in the failure to loose weight and keeping it off. For instance, the hormone ghrelin increases appetite. When you restrict food intake, this hormone spikes making you feel MORE hungry. Simple ways to keep this hormone in check include eating fiber, getting adequate sleep (7-8hrs a night) and including protein at every meal.

On the flip side, you also have the hormone leptin - made by fat cells. Leptin decreases your appetite. If you're on a non-fat diet, this hormone level will drop. So put a low-fat diet and restrictive eating together, and you have the perfect storm for failure.

Moving on, there's neurological changes that happen too. Those on a diet tend to become more aware of food.

The more aware you are of food, the more appetizing it becomes.

And here you were thinking it was your fault you failed. No, my dear. The diet fails you - every time. Still not sold on the idea that diets don't work? Wait until I explain how metabolism plays a role.

Diets Destroy your Metabolism

The more you restrict, the better your body does adapting to this change in food intake.

Your metabolism will slow, and fat will be stored. This is bad news for post diet life! Once the detox, or whatever diet you're on, is over and you go back to eating a higher number of calories a day, your metabolism won't bounce back overnight.

You will continue to store more fat and burn fewer calories despite your efforts because your body has adapted to the little calorie intake from the diet. Cue the weight gain. This is a big reason many people gain all the weight back, and then some after they finish a diet.

If you've been dieting your whole life and are tired of gaining and loosing over and over again, try the non-diet approach. What do you have to loose? Yes, the pun was intended; I love a good pun.