Diets don’t work

Well, not strictly true.  They work in the short term and it is easy to feel jealous of those of your friends who are doing Dukan, Atkins, Lighter Life, Slimfast and so on and so on because they seem to be shrinking before your eyes.  However, feel smug because although they are losing weight they are going to put it all back on and more.

Your body doesn’t know that you ‘feel fat’.  Your body’s job is to keep itself going, particularly that big computer in its head.  It doesn’t care that your little black dress makes you feel like a sack of spuds.  All it knows is ‘yippee, I’ve got enough fuel for my brain, muscles and to repair any damage.  Lots of lovely fuel.  Let’s store some for a rainy day.’  It doesn’t care that the liver may be getting a bit fatty or that the arteries may be getting a bit furry and blocked – that bit is up to you to look after.

Here’s a quick bit of science

  • If you cut your calories to below what the body needs just to tick over (Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR for short), your body goes into ‘famine’ mode and your metabolism will slow.
  • Your brain can only burn glucose as fuel.  On a severely restricted diet the body will attempt to hold on to fat reserves – there is a famine on, after all.  That means that it will try and get glucose from your muscles.  That means the proportion of fat goes up and muscle goes down
  • When you put on the weight again, as you almost inevitably will, you will put on pure fat – you won’t regain the muscle you have lost.
  • That means if you lose 2 stone quickly some of it will be muscle.  If you put it on again it will be pure fat.  As they say, ‘you do the math’, you will end up with a higher percentage of body fat.

The answer is to lose it slowly through SENSIBLE eating and moderate activity.   It didn’t take you two weeks to put on that weight, why would you expect it to come off that quickly.

Take heart though, losing weight doesn’t need to be an awful regime of deprevation.  Honest.  Have a look at the Ten Tips.

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