What usually happens when you decide to go on a diet as a last ditch resort to lose weight?
Firstly you will become really diet-crazy and cut down on food intake by at least 50% or even more.
Your body is revolting and is very unhappy with this sudden variation and rejects this uncharacteristic change in diet, so starts giving you all sorts of abnormal signals.
Your stomach growls every hour or so and you get these insane mood swings. Despite all this, and by using a tremendous amount of willpower, you keep up the diet for a month or maybe even more.
Eventually, depending on how your body handled the diet, you may have lost a lot of weight, or may not have lost any weight at all.
Whatever the situation, you become totally frustrated at this point and say to yourself “what the hell!” and start doing what all dieters dread – give in to temptation and start binging on unhealthy foods loaded with calories, getting back all the weight you were so desperately trying to lose!
This little story pretty much describes the experience that virtually every desperate dieter goes through.
It’s clear dieting, especially of the insane kind described above, does not work, period. Why is this? Why is such a universally touted weight loss solution also supremely ineffective?
The answer lies in our misunderstanding of how the human body works. Most of us think weight loss is a simple matter of “calories in, calories out”, but it is much more complicated than that.
Here’s Why Dieting Will NOT Help You Lose Weight – Ever!
When you stop cutting down on food and calorie intake, then your body goes into “starvation” mode, i.e. the lack of food indicates to the body that there is no food in its environment – in other words, there is a drought on.
In this situation, the last thing your body wants to do is to burn all its precious fat reserves. So it stores them instead by decreasing its metabolic rate, because it doesn’t know how long you will have to survive on this low intake of food.
Of course, your body doesn’t know you are living in a world with such an overabundance of food and that the idea of starvation is simply something we read about in history books or hear of happening in some distant third-world country.
Dieting also causes a decrease in the production of the appetite-suppressing hormone, leptin.
In starvation mode, your body produces less and less leptin in order to encourage you to consume enough food to re-supply your fat reserves. This is why your urge to binge on calorie-rich foods is much more intense after a long dieting session.
Also, dieting increases the production of the enzymes that increase fat storage.
So whatever food you are consuming will stick to your body as fat much more efficiently than it would have when you are not dieting.
Basically, dieting works in every way possible against your weight loss. In fact, it increases your appetite, exhausts your willpower, burns less fat and generally becomes a super-efficient fat storage machine optimized for survival in harsh environments. Your body thinks it is in for a long hard winter with very little food.
Bottom line – dieting is an unwise endeavour that does not work and hands down, will never work for long-term weight loss. The only people who have any great success with fancy diet plans are the companies who sell them – it is a billion dollar industry.
If Dieting Does Not Work, Then What Do You Do?
To me, weight loss simply means eating less. Really just a matter of “Refuse it, so you don’t have to lose it.”
You also need to start eating real food and only in a quantity and quality that matches your metabolism, gender, size, age and lifestyle.
The solution is simple – just replace all the unhealthy foods you have been eating with healthier foods – in other words, more fruit and vegetables and lean proteins.
Most importantly, you should fill your stomach with whole foods (i.e. not out of a box or a drive through), and you should never leave yourself starving or hungry.
Start by making a slow transition from unhealthy lifestyle habits to healthier ones – especially ones that incorporate foods which are full of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. Cut down on your intake of alcoholic drinks and cut out totally things like colas and other soft drinks.
They are literally full of the “bad boy” sugar.
You should also focus on optimizing your metabolism levels so that your body burns fat efficiently. You can get great results simply by doing some regular moderate exercise, getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water every day.
Using these simple methods, you can kick-start your weight loss journey. It’s all about avoiding those misconceptions and transitioning to a healthier lifestyle!
It is what I call active ageing and fitness for the long haul.
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Mentor and Coach.
P.S. Help a friend with their health and fitness – like and share. Thanks.
P.P.S. Best wishes with your journey and if you need help, then don’t be shy…….just yell out.