Results May vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Below are merely personal stories and do not guarantee success.

Diets: Why they don’t always work

March 11th, 2016

Weight loss man and womanWe all know people who have gone on a diet at some point in time or another.  However, how many of those individuals that you know of actually kept the weight off?  Dieting can become a vicious cycle for some, losing weight while on the diet, then gaining it back after they come off the diet.  The problem is that once they come off the diet, they go right back to the way they used to eat. This, in turn forces them to also go back to the way they used to look.  So, if diets aren’t the way to go, what is?

For starters, a diet will kill your metabolism.  On a diet, your body doesn’t know it’s on a“diet.”  Your body’s interpretation of a diet is that you are starving it.  As a result, the body begins to burn less and less fat (which is hard for the body to burn), and instead starts burning off muscle (which is easy to burn).  The concern is that each pound of muscle you have can burn up to an extra 50 calories per day, so losing that muscle means your body will now survive on less calories and will keep doing this until it feels like it’s in a safe range.  So, in the process of losing weight, you also lose muscle and kill your metabolism.

At the end of the diet, you reached your weight loss goals and are done dieting.  So, what do you do now?  Start eating the foods you like to eat.  However, now your metabolism is even slower than when you started your diet and you have even less muscle.  Since the body is going to be afraid to build up the metabolism again in case it is once again “starved,” the first priority will be for your body to pack on stored energy (aka fat).  This process is why not only do people who go on diets usually gain all the weight back, but end up gaining even more weight than when they started!

Now, this is not to say that a moderate diet can’t work, but there are certain caveats:

  • The first is that you should include is some sort of weight resistance exercise and cardio while dieting to prevent muscle loss and keep your metabolism up.
  • DO NOT make your diet a temporary eating habit change or your results will also be temporary! You don’t need to stay on a diet all your life, but take into consideration that your eating habits prior to your diet is what caused your weight problem to begin with.  You can’t go back to eating like you used to. Instead, you will need to pay more attention to what you eat.  Keep a daily dietary log and see how you can improve it.  Even better, speak to someone qualified to give nutritional advice, such as a licensed nutritionist.
  • Make lifestyle changes to maintain your goals. Limit your television time each day.  Find ways to engage in more outdoor activities.  The more active you are, the more calories you will burn off each day, making it easier to maintain your weight.

While dieting can be effective at losing weight, the best kind of diets are those that don’t trick your body, but that supplement an exercise program to lose weight smartly long-term.  

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