Everyone sort of knows that diets peter out. Eventually you stop following them, and the weight comes back. What most people don’t know is that they often lead to weight gain, and may also damage your body in profound ways. An often-cited UCLA study published in 2007 reviewed 31 long-term studies on the effectiveness of diets in the hopes of recommending that Medicare cover the most effective ones. Instead, the researchers found that almost all participants in the studies reviewed recouped the 5%-10% weight loss they had on the diet, and one- to two-thirds gained more (although researchers suspected that percentage was higher). Furthermore, the analysis indicated a link between dieting and heart disease, diabetes, and immune system changes. Read that again: That’s not a link between obesity and these various health conditions. It’s a link between dieting and poorer health. Traci Mann, now head of the Eating Lab at the University of Minnesota, led the study and said at the time, “The benefits of dieting are too small and the potential harm is too large for dieting to be recommended as a safe, effective treatment for obesity.”