DO DIETS REALLY WORK?
OK buckle up, we're about to go faster.....
You wan't to know whether al these diets that are out there actually really work?
The truth: Without a doubt, diets do work.
Even short term “fad” diets produce results, so what is the problem?
The problem is that it is dangerous to radically change your eating habits from one day to the next.
Your body simply does not know where the next meal is coming from and therefore the starvation response is triggered.
When food is plentiful, our bodies use what it needs and then stores the rest as fat, for use in the future.
When food is scarce, your body uses the fat that's been stored up and converts it to energy. If it was this simple then short term diets would work fantastically well.
We could all eat what we wanted and then when we needed to slim down, we simply tightly restrict our calorie intake. Unfortunately it is not this simple as our bodies is built for survival.
When food is plentiful and you eat more than you need to, fat is stored.
Our current reaction is to restrict the calorie intake to use up the fat.
As we are built for survival, when our diets change drastically it sends a strong signal to the brain that says “we have a problem, we do not have as much food as yesterday.
We must prepare for famine”.
Instead of your body carrying on as normal and using fat instead of food to run, it lowers your metabolism so less energy is burned.
As your metabolism lowers, your body adjusts to your new diet.
Your energy levels will lower, you will want to sleep more and your moods are likely to be erratic. Your body thinks you are in danger and it causes a lot of emotional issues.
After a while of restricting your calorie intake, your body will start to use the stored up fat. Using up the energy store is seen by your body as a last resort, what will happen when the energy stores are gone?
You will start to not only lose fat but also muscle as your metabolism is lowered and you are likely to be doing less exercise due to having less energy.
After your 10 days of tricking your body into thinking you are in danger, you go back to your normal diet. Out with the calorie controlled meal plans and back in with the old stuff, the stuff that got you fat in the first place.
When this happens your “starving” body sees this as a life line and stores as much of the food away as fat, as possible.
So once you finish your 10 day (or whatever) diet, your body purposely piles back on the pounds.
Your metabolism is still low because instead of processing the food it is storing it, also less food is required as you have acclimatised to the diet.
You are also likely to have lost muscle mass, therefore you cannot burn off as much energy as before you started the diet.
This is why after a diet you are highly likely to put back on all the weight you have lost, and with an extra pound or two of fat. You have probably lost muscle mass and replaced it with fat you did not have even before the diet.
So what do people usually do in this situation? You guessed it, they go back on another diet.
This time they have more weight to lose so they need to do an even more extreme diet. This puts more and more pressure onto the body and it reacts in kind by storing more and more fat each time.
This is what is commonly known as the “Yo-Yo diet effect”.
Your weight drops, then raises, then drops then raises. Each time it raises it goes slightly higher and unable to go as low as before, therefore over a period of time you constantly put on weight
So what is the answer?
It certainly is not fad diets.
For long term weight loss you need to stop abusing your body with short term fixes.
You need to eat a balanced diet for good!
This does not mean a strict calorie controlled diet where everything is measured.
It simply means reducing or cutting right back on the lower quality foods (highly processed and refined junk food, bread, pastries, pasta, sweets) and lean towards eating eating more healthy foods (poultry, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, good fats and oils such as coconut oil, butter and extra virgin olive oil, fruit and vegetables).
If you can consistently do this 80% of the time around an active lifestyle then you will start to make progress towards a sustainable lifestyle change where a little of what you like now again won't make a dent.
I hope you found this useful.
Coach @ The Perth Fitness Camp
ABOUT THE PERTH FITNESS CAMP
The Perth fitness camp is an INCLUSIVE community, a lifestyle, a movement for over 30's men & women who no matter what your size, no matter what level of fitness you are at and no matter how big you feel the entire community will keep you moving forwards toward a leaner, stronger healthier and fitter looking body.