How diets make you fat

Restricting your food intake may seem like a quick way to shed pounds, but experts say diets make you fat in the long run

How diets make you fat

Source: Best Health’s Women’s Health Encyclopedia, Reader’s Digest

Diet plans favouring grapefruits, cabbage soup, food combinations or even low-fat regimens are not the answer to weight loss. If you have been considering dieting because you think you ought to, give some thought to this fact: the vast majority of dieters eventually go back to their pre-diet weight or become heavier than they were before. Most people who start dieting will continue to do so, on and off, for the rest of their lives. If a range of foods is designated as forbidden, dieters feel guilty if they transgress, which makes them feel worse about themselves.

Dieting makes food an enemy, not a source of sustenance and well-being. So-called yo-yo dieting‘losing weight, putting it back on, losing it again and so on’is bad for your health. If you suddenly reduce your food intake, you body, because it is designed for survival, will slow down your metabolic rate in order to store energy more efficiently. This is why people on a diet crave snacks like chocolate, which gives a quick boost to their energy levels, and why weight loss slows down dramatically after the first couple of weeks.

Weight loss in the early weeks of crash dieting is not, as many people believe, made up mostly of unwanted fat. First you lose those carbohydrates stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. This is why you feel tired on such a diet and have less strength for lifting and running‘because you are losing muscle power. You will also lose a lot of water, which may make you feel less bloated and appear slimmer, when in fact you are still carrying the same amount of fat on your body.

Tip: Balance is the key. To reach and maintain a reasonable body weight, you need a balanced diet full of nutrients to prevent disease and to ensure optimal energy and psychological well-being.

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