Dieting. The Agony and the Irony.

 

Our society is obsessed with weight and dieting.  Each year, the diet industry rakes in over 100 billion dollars, and by the age of 45, the average woman has been on 61 diets.

The sad reality is that diets don’t work.  In fact, the evidence shows that dieting will cause you to GAIN weight.  Say what? Although you may lose weight in the furious flurry of the first days and weeks of a diet, over time the lost kilograms will return, with interest.

What’s going wrong?

Several mechanisms are at play that sabotage your best efforts to lose weight by dieting.  Most originate in our evolutionary past, when to lose weight was bad biological news, as your odds of procreation were less (for women and men), placing the species at risk. Every year the US News and World Report publish a list of the best and worst diets.  They enlist a panel of nutritionists and other specialists rating diets against certain parameters including weight loss, ease of compliance, nutritional completeness, health risks and health benefits.  Year after year, the Mediterranean way of eating comes up trumps.  Perhaps because it’s not a diet, it’s sensible eating. Not surprisingly the Keto and Dukan diets, with their high protein and low carb approach limp in at the bottom of the list.

Metabolic rate

While your mind may be happy to lose that muffin top, your prehistoric body thinks you are in the middle of a famine.  Before long, your metabolic rate, the rate at which the body burns calories, will drop.   Long after the diet is but a memory, your metabolic rate will continue to be low, dropping by as much as 15% for months.  Explaining why weight creeps up a little after each dieting episode.

Every year the US News and World Report publish a list of the best and worst diets.  They enlist a panel of nutritionists and other specialists rating diets against certain parameters including weight loss, ease of compliance, nutritional completeness, health risks and health benefits.  Year after year, the Mediterranean way of eating comes up trumps.  Perhaps because it’s not a diet, it’s sensible eating. Not surprisingly the Keto and Dukan diets, with their high protein and low carb approach limp in at the bottom of the list.

Hormonal havoc
Dieting is a stress on the body.  Any time there is stress, be it emotional or physical, the adrenal glands produce the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol increases fat deposition.  In addition, dieting increases the production of the hormone, ghrelin. Ghrelin increases your appetite. At the same time, dieting decreases the hormone leptin.  Leptin decreases appetite. Explaining why you may eat more after a diet than before.

The agony and the irony

Confused? You are not alone. Every few weeks a fantastic celebrity endorsed diet is promoted.  We need to face facts, that sparkly new promise is fools’ gold.  After the agony of dieting, the cruel irony is that dieting will most likely increase weight