Have you, or anyone you know, ever gone on a diet? I would bet almost every single person reading this article answered yes to this question.
Next question: Did the diet work for you or the person you are thinking of? If you answered yes to this, I would like you to think a little deeper about this answer.
For a diet to be truly successful, surely you would have to have lost weight and continue to keep it off. So answer this question: Did the diet ultimately work? I would bet that very few people reading this could answer yes – that the diet did work long term.
Today I want to explain why dieting, for the vast majority of people, results in only short term weight loss followed by long term fat gain. Here are the 5 main issues of traditional dieting and diet groups:
- Drastically cutting calories will force your body to think there is a shortage of food and in response to this it will slow down your metabolism. This is a logical response: in times of starvation the body would have to go into storage mode to ensure survival. Repeatedly yo-yo dieting will train the body to become very efficient at storing fat.
- When you don’t eat enough calories your body will burn up proteins in the muscles for energy – a major problem because it is our lean muscle mass that keeps our metabolism high. Every time we go on a diet our body eats into the muscle. When the diet ends, we have a slower metabolism as a result of muscle loss which makes it harder and harder to keep weight off (often the answer this is to go another diet….).
- Poor information is often given by diet group leaders with no nutritional knowledge; some of the advice I have heard given out at slimming groups is nothing short of disturbing. There is also little or no effort given to educating people on the two key areas of long term fat loss: metabolism and blood sugars. Fail to understand these two aspects of nutrition and I guarantee that you will always battle with your weight.
- Nutritional plans are designed to encourage you to buy diet foods which are promoted by the diet group in question. Weight Watchers breads, Slimming World cereal bars, Diet Chef ready meals – they may have less calories but they also have minimal nutrition.
- Too much focus is placed on weight and weighing members. So many seasoned dieters become obsessed with the numbers on the scale. This number should only be used as reference point and definitely not as the main measure of success. How many people have had a good week eating and exercising only to rock up to their diet class only to be told they have put weight on or stayed the same weight? How disheartening must this be? There are many factors that affect your weight and scales are a poor marker. Measuring inch loss is the best way to measure your changing shape which is the best indicator of fat loss. As well as this, a dramatic weight loss can be a sign that something isn’t quite right, but at diet class it is heralded as being an amazing success. At Get Results we have worked with many clients who have dropped several dress sizes and only saw small changes on the scale. If you are losing more than ½ -1 pound per week it is not only fat you are losing; it is likely to be muscle and fluid.
Remember only you see the number on the scale, everyone else will see how you look and act.
Break free from the diet cycle: avoid calorie counting, counting points, weighing yourself regularly, eating processed low fat (high sugar foods) and move towards establishing an eating and exercise routine that loses fat whilst boosting metabolism. Do this and I guarantee that you will become the person that everyone envies, who makes it seem effortless to lose weight and keeps it off.