The best weight loss program is one that recognizes that Dieting Is Fattening!

How DIETING can make you FAT!

Weight loss, followed by weight re-gain, or the yo-yo dieting cycle is the modus operandi (MO) of the average modern dieter. But these recurring weight fluctuations are more than inconvenient, discouraging, or fleeting aspects of the dieter's dilemma. They have a lasting and fundamental impact on the body's system, altering its makeup, its ability to function and the efficiency with which it burns calories.

The critical issue is not how many pounds the dieters loose but what kind of pounds! Since the loss of lean body mass occurs as soon as dieting begins, every down phase of the yo-yo syndrome leaves the dieter with less muscle mass.

When the weight is regained mostly fat and very little muscle is replaced. The ability to repair loss of lean body mass decreases with each decade of life so weight loss has more serious consequences as we age.

Even the best weight loss program done through dieting may train the body's metabolism and cell function to adjust to a low-calorie diet by decreasing the basal metabolic rate which means you don’t burn calories very efficiently.

It can also teach the body to metabolize the food you eat more efficiently, store it as body fat, and reduce the rate of dietary induced thermo-genesis, or the rate that the body uses fat for energy.

The restrictive diet is the problem! The body is just trying to make adjustments based on the environmental threat of less food, just like animals in hibernation or having a starvation response.

Restrictive Dieting is fattening because it causes the body to go into the Starvation Response!

It really does change alot that has to be corrected for the best weight loss program.

The body responds quickly when it senses there is lack of food to match the hunger signals it is supplying.

The body adapts to a reduction in calories, by doing the following things (all of which sabotage any efforts to actually shed excess weight and keep it off over time):

  • Reduced Basal Metabolic Rate- a reduction in the amount of energy/calories burned at rest. The body becomes more efficient at functioning with less food and doesn’t burn as many calories as people who eat when they are hungry and stop before they are too full.
  • Increased Lipoprotein Lipase-this is an increase in the enzyme that transports fat to the fat cells for storage. The body becomes more efficient at storing fat like an animal preparing for the famine of winter (the diet).
  • Increased Body Fat Percentage-When a person loses weight on a diet or restricted food plan they lose some lean weight (muscle) and some fat weight. When they regain the weight they gain mostly fat weight back. Therefore repeated loss/regain cycles cause the body composition to become more and more fat with less and less muscle. Strength training can offset this somewhat, but remember the body can’t be tricked, it is very intelligent.
  • Increased Abdominal Fat-With each loss/regain cycle, body fat is increasingly distributed in the abdominal area. Abdominal fat is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes type II (insulin resistance), and high blood pressure. Redistribution of body fat to abdominal area occurs following restrictive eating (or weight loss not directed by body wisdom) and then re-feeding (weight gain) which is more related to the development of heart disease than fat in other areas of the body.
  • …Increased Craving for Fatty Foods-this is the body's natural response to the starvation of restrictive dieting. Many individuals begin craving more calorie dense fatty type foods following restriction of intake which also unknowingly contributes to rapid weight gain.

This is a physiological response in the body that is much like what happens during hibernation in animals during the winter months. The amount of calorie restriction required to start this biological reaction in the body can vary with each individual. I have seen this phenomena occur with as little as 200-500 calorie reduction a day in individuals trying to lose weight and operating against the body wisdom. This usually occurs with people who have dieted repeatedly (see; Yo-Yo Diet Cycle PDF and below).

The solution is to always practice Intuitive or Responsive Eating, which is eating in response to hunger within 5-10 minutes whenever possible, making a perfect match with the belly hunger, and developing or maintaining regular pleasurable exercise much of the damage can be undone.

To rebuild the muscle lost through years of dieting, be sure to include strength or resistance training in your exercise routines. Muscles are the part of the body that require energy and burn calories, so as we loose muscle through weight loss we burn less calories in our daily activities and in our exercise time.

The diagram below says it all......Diets create overeating!

So the solution is the learn how to undo all your old thinking  about food and eating without leading to binging all the time or at all.

Learn how to legalize/normalize foods.  There is all the detail on this on the page titled Normalizing Food on this site.

The other practice that must be a part of the weight loss program is learning to follow Inner Wisdom in terms of when and how much to eat. This wisdom resides in your belly.  Yep, it has always been there you have just been ignoring it for many reasons that you will find out on this site.

Without this connection when the diet or the weighing and measuring stops (and someday it will- the research shows it is usually within 2-5 years) overeating ensues and of course weight-regain (usually more than what was lost). This is part of why dieting is fattening!

To check in with the Inner Wisdom or Belly wisdom use the hunger scale (below) to determine if you are even hungry before eating or is it something else that is calling you that you need to learn about (see the page about Other Hungers).