This year millions of people will embark upon a diet and most will fail to lose weight. The usual response to this failure by the people marketing the diet is to blame the individual for the failure. This leaves the person feeling defeated and guilty because of their lack of "will-power"
Blaming the individual also preserves the illusion that diets are an effective way to lose weight. I think it is time to move the discussion beyond this "blaming" level and explore the real reasons diets fail.
I will use an example to explain my position.
When most people are presented with something like a chocolate (candy) bar it is not long before they feel a desire to eat the thing. Most will simply blame the chocolate for causing the desire. They will then try to battle the craving with "will-power". Usually they lose this battle and sooner or later give in and eat the chocolate bar. This "giving-in" often marks the end of the diet.
Now lets look at why this "giving-in" occurred. We know that the cognitive process that caused the craving to eat the chocolate bar went something like this; sensory input was...