How Diets Make You Fat
Weight loss is very simple in 99% of the cases. Simple, but not easy.
Energy comes in with food, energy gets out with activity. Excess energy is stored as fat in your body. Unless you have any hormonal disorder losing weight is only about spending more energy than your meals bring in.
“Diets” (unless we are talking about condition-based ones) are always a shortcut to losing weight somehow skipping the “boring” part. Each diet plan has a “trick” that lets adopters skip any part of the real weight loss cycle. E.g. eat yourself stupid BUT with only one type of food; follow a specific meal plan without working out, download a bunch of recipes and expect miracles. All the diet talk is for the lazy, let’s just face it.
I am not shaming the lazy – laziness is the foundation of human progress. But people seriously need to stop “dieting” so much and start reasoning more.
Believe it or not, diets very often cause an adverse effect, making people fatter than they used to be. Here’s how:
Fasting-based weight loss reverts fast too.
If you start depriving yourself of calories your body enters energy-saving mode. Sure, you might lose some weight quick – but once your fasting is over and you start eating normally, you will regain all your extra weight back. That happens because your body feels like it has to store more “supplies” in case the “hunger” repeats. A state of constant hunger is a stress, so be sure your body will not remain “unprepared” for the next “famine”. Chronic dieters are always fat, because their bodies are not that dumb: they adapt to food shortages.
Solution: gradually reduce the amount of food you eat. Add more physical activity to your daily routines – start walking, stretching and taking the stairs. Do not just reduce energy consumed, increase energy spent.
Focusing on dietary cooking and recipes makes you eat MORE.
This happens to people who want to “enjoy their diets” – e.g. declare sticking to paleo lifestyle but still snack on some kind of candy 10 times a day. Google results for “paleo recipes” come in handy and as a result people cook complex dishes that are completely against everything Paleo stands for but somehow still contain only the “right” ingredients.
With recipes come frying, battering, seasoning and the rest of the time-sinking belly-growing shenanigans. Once you’re done cooking you are sitting with a bucket of fried snacks that are supposedly “better food”. Start munching and you’re one step further from your weight loss goals.
Cooking “diet” recipes eats all your time: you need to shop, you need to cook, wash utensils, and you need to surf the web for more recipes. What happens next is you get tired of all that and give up your diet.
Solutions: Drop the recipe mentality completely. Take all foods for what they really are, cook simply (steam, bake or eat raw). E.g. living “paleo” means you move a lot and eat a lot of meat and veggies with zero grains or legumes, – not spend all afternoon in the kitchen making coconut-oil-carrot-poptarts to eat in front of your TV all night.
Aim to revert your tastebuds to natural state when simple foods taste good and you don’t have to fool your mouth with cookery.
Diets cause psychological problems
All diets are about limitations. As a result there are all-kinds-of-wrong emotions connected with diets. We feel guilty that we love food, we feel stressed that we have to eat foods we don’t like, and we are pressured by aggressive diet and fitness marketing.
Stress is never good – we actually start eating more from stress, cortisol level goes up, we end up binge eating and that causes more shame until things spiral out of control. Ultimately we stop following the diet we chose.
This is how chronic dieters are born – people that jump from trend to trend, hoping to meticulously follow some marketer-crafted foodplans and achieve ultimate health. These people are always dieting and are never happy with themselves. They rarely look good either.
Solution: calm the heck down. There is not a single diet that gives a universal weight loss plan working 100% of the time in 100% of the cases. Read on the basics of nutrition, study ingredients in everything you buy and decide what you need and what you do not need. Work on being happier, not following a plan. Adopt an integral wellness approach that covers not only nutrition but also exercise, sleep, positive outlook and meditation.
Diet foods sold in stores are basically fat bombs.
Yeah you heard it right. Slapping “diet” on a label allows companies to sell more, not make you slimmer. You should avoid anything like
- “Diet” drinks
- “Diet” dressings
- “Diet” cereal
- “Diet” candybars
- “Diet” bread
These foods are labeled as “diet” but they won’t make you lose weight.
A simple substitution of sugar with fructose lets them change the label, but it’s still a pointless calorie intake clad in appetite-increasing seasoning and extra sodium. In fact, packaged “diet” foods will make you GAIN weight because you’ll be eating more of them, mistakenly thinking they are “safe”.
Solution: Ignore the word “diet” on labels. Buy what you need and like, and more importantly do not eat too much. Again, aim for simple cooking and natural tastebud sensitivity. Ditch the packaged foods.