Health Services

Dieting

What really happens when we diet . . .

How we diet:

What really happens:

Skipping meals

This lowers metabolism so we store fat more easily from fewer calories. The brain’s and muscles’ demand for fuel causes rebound “munchies,” usually for high fat and high sugar items. You may eat more calories than if you just ate your meals. Poor attention span, irritability, fatigue. Muscle tissue loss all result from skipping meals.

Cutting out starchy foods…

Your body loses its best source of stable energy; you’ll be more likely to feel moody and tired. You’ll end up eating higher fat and sugary foods to satisfy munchies. Try to make starchy foods whole foods.

Cutting out meats…

May risk iron and zinc deficiency which leads to fatigue and lowered immunity. Energy from meals may not last as long, causing more hunger between meals for high fat, high sugar foods.

Pre-planned meal replacements or liquid diets…

You have a 95% chance of regaining any weight you lose in 1-2 years. You give away control to the plan, which lowers your self-esteem. You often lose muscle mass along with fat. This lowers your metabolism, making it easier to store fat on fewer calories. Habits are replaced temporarily, not changed permanently. Also, it’s expensive.

Fasting…

Most of the weight lost is water. Muscle mass decreases, which lowers metabolism. Subsequent fat gain. Can be medically dangerous for some individuals. Is not sustainable.

Why we diet:

What really happens:

To lose weight or be ‘thin’

A healthy weight is important and is individual. Each person has a weight that they are healthy at and this is achieve through eating a balanced diet and regular exercise.

To be healthier…

The viscous cycle of dieting increases health risks more than being overweight. There is no evidence that being plump is unhealthy. There is evidence that regular fluctuations in weight are unhealthy. Most dieting decreases our muscle mass. Muscles are needed for good health. Dieting makes you moody and irritable, and makes you obsessed with food. This feels like failure, but is in fact a psychological response and has nothing to do with will power.

To be more attractive…

What attracts you to someone else? Do you want your friends to like you for your body or for yourself? What are long-term relationships based upon? If you are dieting are you fun to be around?

A healthy lifestyle with a balanced way of eating and exercise are the best ways to achieve a healthy weight and have lots of energy.