When it is said that diets don't work, what is being said? It doesn't mean "I can't do them". I know the difference between I can't do macrame and macrame doesn't work.
If I couldn't diet, that's no more problematic than saying "I'm allergic to penicillin". I can say, "I've never tried dieting or tried it once, I never will or never again." If that's what I was saying, I'd say it.
I find calorie manipulation overall to be anti humane and degenerate credo. One of those theories that is easily becomes toxic because it will not come to terms with how people actually function, substituting this, for how it wants them to function. Showing an underlying misanthropy and shame about being human.We don't exist on paper, we are living beings, and we work how we work. There shouldn't be any shame in that.
Diet's don't work means they do not make fat people thin and stay that way. That is the acid test anything else is a consolation prize. It's no good saying that if 50 fat people go to a scientific institute every week for nutritional and exercise advice and support, at the end of two years they've maintained an average loss of seven pounds. Ergo, fat people can become thin. That is bilge.
Unless you feel it's OK if someone fat says, "I've lost 7lbs, therefore although I'm technically obese, I'm now thin and out of the firing zone, because I've lost some weight". If you find yourself agreeing with that, then you've every right to say the results of the above apocryphal study prove fat people can become thin.
If that is not acceptable for a fat person, hold yourself to that standard, in order to "prove" dieting works. You have to prove it to the same level as you'd find acceptable in a (former) fatty. Anything less and you've blown it.
Dieting has to be fit for the purpose it is intended, to the extent that it is intended and that is quite specific, if that's too narrow, then it's not about fatness is it? If we all wish to accept any less than this, that changes the whole game. And we need to discuss accordingly. It's purpose-in the obesity crisis, is to get fat people thin and stay that way. Anything less is failure, we are told that obesity is 100% preventable, show it. If you cannot demonstrate 100%, you cannot assert it.
I get that a lot of people find this to be taunting of diet advocates, I know that they are do not feel they should endure the idea of failure. We are entitled to believe something is successful because we want it to be, without the interference of the impertinence of truth. Especially if hope is seen as a bedrock of "success". But I swear, I'm not taunting. Many of us having been fully acquainted with the idea of being an abject and shameful failure, have had that sense of entitlement punctured utterly before we could even develop it. I'd be taunting myself as much as anyone.
The idea of trying really hard and failing, meaning really well and failing, doing a hell of a lot and failing, etc, is totally familiar. I can understand what a shock it is for the anti obesity calories in/out crew to feel the same.
Remember, everything has a placebo effect, sometimes, that's all there is. It often flatters to deceive.