Over 40 years of research has demonstrated time and time again that 98% of all diet plans do not work. Would you want to participate in a program that had only a 2% success rate? The fact of the matter is diets make you fat.
Why don't diets work and how can they make you fat?
There are at least 5 reasons:
A famine state is created resulting in excessive fat storage. Metabolism slows. Cortisol released resulting in a break down of muscle and an increase in fat storage. Release of lipoprotein lipase, a powerful fat storing enzyme. Emotionally, you feel deprived and unsatisfied. Nutritional balance is important in a healthy weight loss program. A balanced diet plan is designed to offer you a variety of high-quality, nutrient rich, meal choices that will not only satisfy you, but tastes great as well. A few of the key concepts to look for include:
Six Small Meals A Day: From a traditional standpoint, six meals per day may seem excessive. However, as you begin to exercise, your metabolism increases. As a result, your body requires a constant supply of high-quality nutrition. Eating six small meals per day provides you with the energy to function at optimal levels.
Do Not Skip Meals: Skipping meals only places your body under stress. To accommodate for the lack of food, your body begins to slow down, you lose energy and you compromise your health. In states of nutrient deprivation, your body begins to store fat and will eventually digest it's own muscle.
What About Calories?: Counting calories and caloric restriction are terms often associated with diets. Calorie reduction is important when losing weight, however, by concentrating on portion sizing and healthy food selections, we can accomplish weight loss while providing the body with adequate nutrition.
Today's popular diet programs will usually have one of three themes:
High protein/low carbohydrate High carbohydrate diet Specialty diets (liquid only, fruit only etc).
High Protein/Low Carbohydrate Diets
(Examples: Atkin's, Sugar Buster's, Carbohydrate Addict's diet)
These plans outline a diet high in protein and saturated fat, with carbohydrate intake kept to a bare minimum. Individuals do lose weight on these programs for the following reasons:
Promote the selection of high fat foods. Feel fuller faster Decreased calories= weight loss Due to such drastic cuts in carbohydrate intake your body begins to fall into a state of ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis occurs when your system cannot rely on carbohydrates, and instead begins to burn protein and fat for energy. Many times the protein source used can be your own muscle. This toxic state causes you to urinate more frequently, which then leads to dehydration. With dehydration comes lack of stamina, dizziness, headaches and shortness of breath.
A healthy weight loss program should take a more balanced approach with proteins and low glycemic carbohydrates and also keeping saturated fats to a minimum. Through healthy food choices and portion control, undue artery aging, weight loss, higher energy levels, and mental alertness, and overall health are achieved.
High Carbohydrate Diets
(Examples: The Ornish Eat More Weigh Less diet, Pritikin Principle)
These plans outline a diet high in carbohydrates and very low in fat, with meat (chicken, turkey etc) kept to a bare minimum. Individuals do lose weight on these programs for the following reasons:
Food choices minimized Calorie consumption is reduced due to consumption of plant-based foods. Decreased calories= weight loss Although adhering to a diet low in fat has many health benefits, when levels of fat are too low, you risk inhibiting vitamin and mineral absorption. Your body requires healthy fats to absorb and utilize nutrients that assist your cells in normal functioning as well as protection against some diseases. A healthy weight loss program stresses nutritional balance through the proper combination of proteins, carbohydrates, and essential fats. In addition to building muscle and maintaining immune system strength, a balanced nutritional plan will maintain blood sugar stability and keep insulin levels held in check. High carbohydrate plans disrupt blood/sugar stability and cause an excess of insulin to be produced. The result? Drastic highs and lows in energy levels, as well as the encouragement of fat storage.
Specialty diets often have one thing in common; they severely limit or even eliminate certain foods or entire food groups from possible meal choices. People lose weight because this limitation leads to caloric restriction. Unfortunately, these diets set individuals up for failure.
Weight loss does occur, but once the individual attempts to return to "normal" eating patterns, the weight returns. In addition, blood sugar levels are altered, which then leads to energy fluctuations and mood swings. Some specialty diets may even cause ketoacidosis.
These quick fix plans often compromise your health to the greatest extent. They are not nutritionally sound, sustainable, or effective on a long-term basis. As a result, you will get fatter.
Nutritional Recommendations for a Healthy Weight Loss Program:
Eat 5 to 6 small meals per day Always eat breakfast Never skip meals Always combine a carbohydrate with a protein and/or essential fat or oil Strive for a balance of 40% proteins, 30% carbohydrates, and 30% fats at every meal