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Nov 24

Why Restrictive and Unbalanced Diets Don’t Work – How They Contribute to Weight Gain and Poor Health

There is no quick fix for fat loss, optimal health, and longevity. But, the good news is that there is a way, and I can help you down that path.   I am not interested in attacking any particular product or program by name. However, I do want to expose the truth about the $58 billion Diet Industry (and rising). Many of the programs and products marketed today are basically gimmicks full of false promises, magic potions, and misleading propaganda. Most of these counter-productive systems result in yo-yo dieting and can be quite dangerous. My hope is that the next time another quick-fix diet system (or product) surfaces, you will know better than to believe the hype, or at least that you’ll think twice before you waste your time, money, health, and sanity. In fact, no sensible diet program will ever compromise your physical or mental health for the sake of looking good!   

Commonly used formulas for fat-loss diets:  

Liquid Diets

  • Most are low-calorie diets
  • Less than 1000 daily calories translates to starvation
  • Do you plan on living only on liquids for the rest of your life?

 Low-Calorie Diets

  • Any diet of less than 1000 daily calories will slow your metabolism and put you at a nutritional risk that could lead to health problems
  • Reduced energy levels
  • Decrease in water weight, not necessarily fat

 High-protein, Low-carbohydrate, High-fat Diets

  • Too much protein can put undue stress on your kidneys and other internal organs which could lead to health problems
  • High amounts of calories from protein, if not used for their intended purpose, can convert to body fat
  • Fat burns in the flame of a carbohydrate-thus you need carbohydrates to help metabolize fat
  • Carbohydrates are needed for energy and exercise
  • Carbohydrates are necessary for brain function-without them you will inhibit your ability to concentrate, calculate, and coordinate, and your memory and moods will be affected
  • High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets can put you into a state of ketosis, which is not healthy and can lead to loss of lean body mass
  • Carbohydrates provide fiber, whereas fats and animal protein contain no fiber
  • Low-carbohydrate diets often result in water loss, not fat loss
  • High-fat intake converts easily to body fat and is unhealthy

 Low-Protein, High-Carbohydrate, No-Fat Diets

  • Protein is necessary for every cell in the body so a lack of protein can cause deficiencies and health problems
  • Protein is needed for muscle growth, maintenance, and repair
  • Excess carbohydrates can convert to body fat
  • High carbohydrates can cause bloat and puffiness
  • It is impossible to avoid dietary fats-fat is found in many foods naturally
  • Some fat is necessary for health and vitality-too little fat can cause a deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids

 One Meal per Day Diet

  • Eating smaller meals throughout the day is important for utilizing calories more efficiently and creating a constant energy level; both are important in the overall fat-loss and better health equation
  • Eating one meal (or two) per day does not generate a steady blood glucose level
  • Eating one meal per day promotes over-eating especially if that one meal is eaten at night-starving all day causes you to eat everything in sight
  • Eating one meal per day promotes bad food choices because excessive hunger will cause you to be less selective with your food choices

 One Type of Food Diet

  • Too much of one type of food causes nutritional imbalances and deficiencies which can lead to health issues both short- and long-term
  • All-fruit diets result in water-weight loss, not fat loss
  • This type of diet can eventually lead to muscle loss, which is directly linked to your metabolism. Since more lean-body mass means a more active metabolic rate, you will lose fat more quickly by maintaining and/or increasing your LBM.

 Processed, Packaged, and Man-Made Food Diet

  • Nutritional value is reduced or eliminated when foods are altered from their natural state
  • When you cut calories, you lose weight. However, if you only eat packaged, processed, and man-made foods, your weight-loss potential will be limited by food quality, and your health may be compromised
  • Our bodies cannot properly metabolize most additives and preservatives
  • Our goal is to lose fat, gain health, function and feel better, and live longer. Consuming unnatural foods is detrimental to this goal.

Diet Supplements, Diet Pills, Potions, and Products

In this age of quick fixes, many women try to become healthier and leaner through massive intake of supplements and so-called “fat burners” (via drinks, bars, and pills), but there is no magic pill, drink, or bar that will ensure good health, weight loss, or a long life. Keep in mind; the consumption of supplements in excess can cause health issues.   The use of diet pills may help you lose weight initially, but once you get off them the weight will return and you will end up heavier than before. Also, diet pills have short-term side effects and may lead to medical problems. As far as magic potions and products like creams and gadgets-they don’t work!  

One Part of the Equation Diet

  • Diet programs that tell you to JUST eat less, or eat better, or eat low glycemic foods, or eat only raw foods, or eat six meals per day, or just cut the sugar, or just exercise, etc. may be good ideas and very helpful to your goals of fat loss and better health- but they don’t give you the complete dieting picture.
  • Providing only part of the diet equation is like presenting a puzzle with some of the pieces missing-will you ever complete the entire picture? NO!

This is the bottom line on restrictive and unbalanced dieting, aka quick-fix diets.

#1 – Poor Health

Since most quick-fix diets restrict calories or do not allocate the proper nutrient ratio (protein, carbohydrates, and fat), and even completely eliminate important vitamins, minerals, and fiber, they put you at a nutritional risk. This sets the stage for a number of health problems during your diet, in the immediate future, and further down the line.

#2 – Dehydration

Some quick-fix diets promote low-carbohydrate intake. However, most of the weight lost in this manner consists only of glycogen and water. Since the human body is over 60% water, this kind of diet may lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause fatigue, crankiness, stiff joints, headaches, nausea, aches, electrolyte imbalances, and much more. Severe dehydration can cause seizures, coma, or even death. The other problem with water-weight loss is that women are deceived into believing that they’re losing fat. In reality, once carbohydrate intake resumes (even the good carbs) and the water weight is restored, women mistakenly believe they’ve regained all the “fat” they had lost on their diet programs.

#3 – LBM Reduction

Reduction in muscle mass is a common result of any type of low-calorie, low- carbohydrate, or starvation program. In fact, as muscle mass is lost, metabolism slows. A daily intake of less than 1000 calories is considered starvation, and the human body will automatically try to salvage body fat just for survival.

#4 – Decrease in Energy

When calories are restricted, especially carbohydrates, the body’s main source of energy is limited. This energy is needed for the body and the brain to function properly. Otherwise, you’ll begin to feel tired, cranky, and mentally slow. You also will not have the energy you need to be active and exercise. Calories do so much for your body-they provide energy, life, vitality, and so much more-why would you give that up?

#5 – Body Fat increases

  • Any type of restrictive or unbalanced diet is a recipe for failure. The hype behind quick-fix diets is often unsubstantiated-they are based on gimmicks and full of false promises.
  • Since most quick-fix diet programs offer ways to lose weight fast with no regard for health and safety, the results will always be questionable.
  • After trying a quick-fix diet program, any attempt to resume normal, proper eating patterns often causes us to regain more weight than we lost.
  • Regaining weight creates desperation, which often causes us to seek another quick fix. This process eventually leads to chronic yo-yo dieting, which is a vicious, unhealthy, frustrating, expensive, and dangerous cycle.

More good news: There is a rise in sound (proper) diet programs that will help you lose weight and gain health. There are now widely accepted, well-researched nutritional principles found in most well respected, leading diet programs, ones that do not offer quick-fix solutions that are found in so-called “fad diets”. Just make sure you know which diets offer hope or hype!   Most fitness experts, nutritionists, diet gurus, and well-informed doctors agree that we should consume clean and wholesome foods and liquids to attain (and maintain) low body fat and vibrant health. We should eliminate junk food, fast food, fried food, and highly processed food. The real debate begins over how many calories we should consume each day and the nutrient ratio. The other debate exists over whether it is better to be a vegetarian or vegan – or not! Most also agree that fat loss is where it’s at, not just weight loss, that real and lasting weight-loss results don’t happen over night, and getting fit is best accomplished when you include exercise. According the Web MD, “proven weight-management strategies include a balanced diet with reduced calories with a regular exercise regimen.” The key to low body fat, vibrant health, and longevity is a lifestyle of the PROPER DIET and exercise!  

Why Do American Women Get Fat? What You Can Do About It: Seven-Part Series  will continue with “The Proper Diet- Good Foods for Low Body Fat, Vibrant Health, and a Longevity!    

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