I believe dieting causes obesity and not the other way around.
Who didn’t start their first diet when they were just a few pounds overweight? Dropped some weight and then put it back on, plus a few pounds more? Kept on repeating this cycle with each attempt ending up at a higher weight?
This dieting pattern is called a “feast and famine cycle” and is caused by restrictive diets.
The body’s natural response to excessive calorie restriction is:
- Reduced metabolic rate. As much as 15 – 30% fewer calories are burned.
- Cravings, especially for sweets and fat.
- Increased ability to store calories as fat, whenever excess calories become available again.
The result? A binge, and/or quitting the diet. Or for the unfortunate that “manage” to fight the hunger, anorexia.
During the period of re-feeding, weight is put back on. Even worse, while the weight loss was both muscle and fat, the regain is primarily fat. We end up bigger and with lower metabolism than before the weight loss as fat doesn’t burn as many calories as muscle does.
After this episode, or a period of time, the restrictive diet is restarted. The diet works, I did lose weight. I just wasn’t strong enough to stick with it.
Wrong! If the diet is not sustainable, the diet is wrong. It’s not the dieter’s fault. It’s the diet’s fault.
So what works for weight loss then? It’s obvious that restrictive diets are not doing us any favors. I strongly believe in lowcarb and “healthy eating” which to me means to eat the right foods, but not limit how much I eat.
With lowcarb, there is no need to feel deprived. There is no need to go hungry. If hungry, then eat. It’s not a diet, it’s a Way of Eating (WOE) that can be sustained long term.
And guess what? When we are ready for maintenance, we have learned how to eat. Do yourself a favor and follow Atkins as written, climbing the carb ladder. Then there is no sudden change from “weigh loss mode” to maintenance, with the common regain and struggle.
Beware of quick fixes that promises fast weight loss, like Kimkins. Not even the founder has been successful on the diet, but still keeps on promoting it. While starvation produces weight loss, the damage done to your body in the process might be permanent even when the weight loss isn’t.