Why Diets Don’t Work
The statistics related to weight-related health problems in the United States are staggering. More than 60% of Americans are overweight and 25% are considered obese putting them at risk for health challenges such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoarthritis and some forms of cancer.
Most overweight people have dieted at one time or another. One popular misconception is that people are overweight because they are not committed, or disciplined. Some people who are unsuccessful with their diets feel they are a failure (even if they ate grapefruit and tuna and counted calories and followed impossible plans). The reason that people arent successful with diets is that diet dont work for anyone at least not in the long run.
A diet, by definition, is an artificial way of eating. The first thing people think about when they start a diet is “when is it going to end”? Dr. Shari Lieberman, a well-known author and nutritional expert, frequently comments that even if people are successful on a “diet,” when the diet ends, the weight is regained. Unfortunately, 95% of adults who diet gain back the weight they lost (and often more weight) within a year. By the second year, 97% of them have gained back the weight. Doesnt that make you wonder if the problem might be the diet not the people?
Many diets restrict calories. This can cause your body to go into starvation mode where the brain signals the thyroid to slow down everything and to preserve energy. This is exactly what you do not want to have happen when trying to lose weight. People with severe caloric restrictions often feel light-headed and weak.
Atkins popularized the “no carb” program which is very hard on the body because it is a high protein, high fat diet with inadequate fiber intake because it restricts whole grain and fruit consumption. When you dont eat enough carbohydrates, the brain just doesnt get enough fuel.
Another popular diet strategy is a low fat regimen. The problem with this approach is that it usually leads to overconsumption of carbohydrates. You only have to compare labels of “low fat” and “normal” foods to see that manufacturers routinely add sugar when they reduce fat to make foods more appealing.
All of the various diets mentioned up to this point have one thing in common they result in muscle loss. They do not target fat loss.
The very best strategy for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is one that addresses body composition. Eating low glycemic impact foods targets fat loss. When you combine a low glycemic eating plan with stress reduction and exercise, you can reduce body fat and increase muscle mass. Muscle dictates metabolism, so exercise is key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise also helps manage stress. A balanced eating plan with low glycemic impact foods including protein, lots of fresh vegetables, and fruits high in fiber and “good” carbohydrates is simply healthy eating. Youll feel better and look better too. Forget diets and make a lifestyle change what have you got to lose but excess weight?
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