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Nov 01

Want To Lose Fat? Here Are The Top 10 Reasons To Never Go On Another Diet

Have you ever wondered why it seems impossible to lose weight, no matter which diet you try? The reasons below will help you to understand why your weight loss efforts in the past may not have given you the results you had hoped for.

1. Diets will destroy your metabolism

Calories are not evil. They are not something to be avoided at all costs. Calories are a unit of ENERGY. Your body needs energy every day, and it does its best to stay in a state of balance (calories in = calories out, energy consumed = energy burned). Thus, if you suddenly cut calories in an effort to lose weight, your body will react accordingly. Your body does not know why it is suddenly receiving less energy, but in order to maintain balance, it will immediately begin to slow down your metabolism in order to match your energy burned with your energy consumed. That is why you will eventually see weight loss slow, then stop. This is also the main reason why dieters will gain their weight back, and then some. By dieting, you have programmed your body to burn significantly fewer calories throughout the day, so as soon as the diet ends and calorie intake increases, that extra energy will now be stored as fat.

2. Diets will make you fatter

Muscle is metabolically active tissue, meaning it is burning calories throughout the day, while body fat is basically stored energy. Think of muscle as your metabolism’s engine. The bigger the engine (more muscle mass) you have, the faster your metabolism can run. Unfortunately, one of the ways that your body slows down its metabolism in reaction to a diet is by cannibalizing muscle mass, and using it for energy. So, while the scale will be telling you that you are losing weight, your metabolism will be cratering because some of the weight you are losing will be muscle mass. Then, after you quit the diet and go back to your normal way of eating, when you gain the weight back, it does not come back as the muscle you lost, but as fat. So, not long after you quit the diet, not only will you weigh the same, or more, than you did when you started, but you will have more fat, less muscle, and a slower metabolism.

3. Diets leave you with no energy

As we have learned, calories are units of energy, and your body needs energy to get through the day. Did you realize that a 160 lb man, who did nothing for 24 hours but lay in a hammock and breathe, would burn in the neighborhood of 1600 calories? Dieters will often eat as few as 800 to 1000 calories per day, so it is easy to see why they would feel tired and run down. Since carbohydrates provide our main source of fuel (glucose and glycogen), low carb diets zap you even more. Did you know that while your body can burn fat for fuel, your brain and central nervous system can only use glucose for fuel? That is why, especially during the induction phase of low carb fad diets, people often feel sluggish, irritable, and not as sharp mentally as normal. Of course, every low carb dieter will tell you that it is only bad for a few days, then your energy levels pick up again. That is because your body, wonderful machine that it is, can manufacture its own glucose to provide energy for your brain. Unfortunately, it does this by breaking down muscle mass into its component amino acids, which it then converts to glucose. So, while you may be more alert once again, this is a sure sign that your metabolism is now slowing down as you cannibalize muscle mass to make up for the energy deficit the diet is causing.

4. Diet programs are usually unrealistic

Counting calories, points, food exchanges, grams of this and grams of that, is just not a realistic strategy for long term weight loss. We all lead busy lives and being forced to do ridiculous calculations every time you eat is no way to live. Unless you are measuring all of your food, most people will generally underestimate the amount that they eat, often by more than 50% (what you estimate to be 1 cup is probably 1 ½ cups, 4 ounces is probably 6, and so on). This is especially problematic in restaurants or other social settings. So, the calculations will not even be accurate anyway.

5. Diets provide false hope to get you hooked

Anyone who goes on a calorie restricted diet, especially a low carb diet, will generally experience a significant weight loss in the first week or two. Diet programs will often try to hook you in with promises of big weight loss up front. When that promise comes true, the diet guru or diet center or supplement seller has you under their spell. The reality is, it is very easy to lose 5, 6, 7 or more pounds in your first week or two on a diet, and the reason is simple. Most of that weight is water. Of course, the person at the diet center won’t tell you that. They will claim that their product or program is the magic behind your success, when the truth is you are just losing water that your body needs. Remember that we said your body’s main sources of energy are glucose and glycogen? Glucose, or blood sugar, is the product of carbohydrate digestion. Glycogen is glucose that has been stored in the muscles and liver. When you severely cut back on calories, especially carbohydrates, you do not adequately replenish your muscle glycogen as you use it. Well, each gram of glycogen stored in your muscles holds 1.4 grams of water with it, so when your glycogen levels are depleted, water weight loss results. As soon as you replace your glycogen stores, that weight will come back on.

6. Diets make you feel like a failure

Eventually, everyone will ‘cheat’ on their diet, or more likely, go off of it all together. When that happens, the inevitable wave of guilt is sure to follow as you tell yourself that you blew it. The diet industry has to be the only industry in this country where nobody gets what they pay for, and then they blame themselves for it. Of course, people will often punish themselves for blowing it by going on a binge, which just makes the guilt worse and compounds the problem. Convinced that this failure was their own fault, the person then often goes off in search of another diet.

7. Fad diets are unhealthy

Any diet that eliminates entire food categories such as carbohydrates or fats robs your body of important nutrients. As discussed above, carbohydrates provide your body with its main source of fuel. And, while trans fats and saturated fats should be avoided, did you realize that your body needs a certain level of fat in the diet in order to function properly? Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthy fats and a critical part of your daily nutrition. Also, diets that force you to eat ridiculous foods, such as nothing but cabbage soup, rely on semi-starvation for their temporary weight loss effects, causing many unpleasant side effects in your body.

8. Fad diet marketers lie to you

Promises of fast, effortless weight loss are simply lies designed to make your wallet smaller much faster than your waistline. No infomercial gadget or magic pill or supplement will lead to long term weight loss. If any of these products really worked, don’t you think you might hear about in on the news instead of some cheesy late night infomercial? Face it, if any of them really worked, nobody would be fat! The truth is, real long term weight loss takes effort, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.

9. Diets will stress you out

If you are spending your day worrying about how many calories you have eaten, or how many points you have left, or if you have had too many grams of carbs since lunch, it is inevitable that other activities, duties, and responsibilities of yours will suffer. Modern life has enough stress without adding in unnecessary and, in the long run, unproductive stress on top. Food and nutrition are essential parts of life that should be enjoyed, not feared, dreaded, or micromanaged. Committing to simple lifestyle changes instead of regimented diet rules is a more effective approach to weight loss, that will also allow you to keep your sanity intact.

10. Diets do not work

It cannot be said any more simply than that. Diets by themselves do not work. Repeat that to yourself until it sinks in for good. If all of the evidence above is not enough to convince you, just think about it. How many people do you know who have been on one diet? None. They have all been on dozens of different diets, right? Well, if any one of those diets really worked and resulted in healthy, permanent weight loss, why would anyone need another? The reason that there are hundreds of diets out there is because none of them work, and the diet marketers know that. They are just banking that you don’t know it yet, and will hopefully give them more money to try one of their other miracle diets.

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