For many people, it's sticking with a strict diet that's the biggest hurdle in losing weight and proves to be the only hope they have at getting a slimmer figure. Most of the time, if let to eat freely, weight piles on very rapidly as larger serving sizes are eaten and poor food choices are made.
For a select few individuals though, diets themselves may just be what keeps the body weight on and prevents you from reaching your goals. It may seem contrary to what 'should' be right, however there are some distinct disadvantages to dieting and for these people, they far outweigh the positives, making sticking with a diet a poor selection.
Let's have a look at what these disadvantages are and how you can tell if you're someone who should skip going on a diet.
1. Strictly Regulated Food Intake
As we've evolved as humans over the years, more and more we've stamped out our body's natural hunger signals and instead are now eating because of the time of the day, the commercial that has been broadcast in front of us, or the food that we just happened to pass by on the walk back from the bathroom to our office desk.
The feeling of hunger may hardly even ever register for some people because they are too busy eating constantly throughout the day to ever get to the point of being really truly hungry. At first, eating because of social circumstances may be alright and not that detrimental - everyone does it once in a while. But over time, if you keep shoving the food in at times when you aren't hungry, you'll destroy that internal regulation process that the body was built in with naturally to stay at a desired weight.
Diet's, however, do no different. When you put yourself on a diet, you're essentially telling the body that it can only eat at certain points during the day and can only eat so much food at once. While it is necessary to create the calorie deficit during the day so this does tend to work very well, over the long term, it still isn't helping you reconnect with those natural regulation properties in the body that helps to regulate body weight.
For many people, this means that since they are still disconnected after finishing up on the diet, they are going to come off and begin gaining the weight back. They haven't learned how to properly eat according to hunger so they may just go from one side of the equation to the other.
2. The Restricted Mindset
Now, a second big problem that dieting can create is that it puts you in an overall restricted mindset. Have you ever noticed that if you put something off limits to a young child, whatever it is that's now out of reach to them becomes the one and only thing that they are focused on? It's almost like they become fixated on that single object - they want what they can't have.
The similar applies for the dieter. If you're someone who's been on a strict diet for months at a time, there's no question that this has impacted you in a psychological manner. For some people, it's not that huge of a problem, but for others, these feelings of imposed restriction are long lasting and certain food cravings may never go away.
Again, this presents a big problem when they come off their diet and now have to try and deal with eating without regulation. They may start binging on the foods that we restricted or start a very serious pattern of emotional and comfort eating (by coincidence, very often when a food is severely restricted during a diet, it also becomes the same food that can provide you the greatest comfort).
Over the long term, this doesn't bode well for either your body weight or your mental health and is another ugly consequence that can rear its head after months of intense dieting.
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Very Often When A Food Is Severely Restricted During A Diet, It Also Becomes The Same Food That Can Provide You The Greatest Comfort.
3. Problematic Metabolic Rate
Finally, the last major issue that you may find you struggle with while on a diet is a severely impaired
metabolic rate. You've likely heard before that the consequences of yo-yo dieting can be deadly for your overall body composition.
You go on one crash diet, lose far too much muscle mass, come off, gain back some body fat, and then proceed to repeat the cycle numerous times over. Before you know it you're left with a lot less lean body tissue, a lot more fat mass, and a metabolic rate that's sluggish from so many very low calorie diets.
This type of problem tends to be much more significant for those who are using extreme diet approaches than for those who take a more moderate stand, so that's something else that you need to remember. Choosing the types of diets you're using will influence how much of a negative factor this plays in your life, so be sure you are choosing carefully.
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You Go On One Crash Diet, Lose Far Too Much Muscle Mass, Come Off,
Gain Back Some Body Fat, And Then Proceed To Repeat The
Cycle Numerous Times Over.
So what's the solution? If diets are not good for you, how can one realistically lose weight?
First you must assess whether you're someone who is at risk for these issues. Ask yourself the following questions.
- Do I tend to feel comforted by food quite regularly - and do I turn to it when I'm emotionally struggling?
- When I'm not on a diet, how often do I eat because I'm hungry and how often do I eat for other reasons? (be sure you are brutally honest with yourself here)
- Do I feel as though I control my food intake or are there times when I feel as though it controls me?
- Have I been on more than four different diets in the past? (and we're talking structured diet plans here - either from a book/plan you read or as given to you by a trainer/nutritionist).
If you find that you are comforted by food, you do eat often when not hungry, you feel as though food often controls you, and you have been on more than four diets in the past, you're someone who may do better off the traditional diet type.
For you, a diet may just be further increasing the problem over the long run. While you may lose weight while on the diet, it won't stay off because you'll be furthering some bad habits along the way.
For these people, the solution is a more natural, less rigid approach. You need to learn to relax the rules of eating and instead, get back in touch with your body. For the most part, people who are able to do this are going to see far better long term results and once they can overcome their negative habits, will find it's much easier to keep the weight off.
The Focus In This Type Of Plan Needs To Be On:
- Not calorie counting nor figuring out specific grams or macronutrient ratios. Doing so will just lead you to feel further restricted and your mind is going to rebel.
- Focusing on wholesome foods that are naturally filling in order to get calorie intake under control without having to count it. This includes as many vegetables as you can eat, moderate amounts of fruits, moderate amounts of whole grains, and then plenty of lean protein.
- Eliminating all beverages except water, green or herbal tea, or coffee that does not contain much sugar or cream. Beverages will easily add calories that are often not registered in the body, therefore consuming them is not going to help you get back in touch with your natural feeling of satiety.
- Not setting regular meal times but instead tracking food intake through a journal where you list food eaten and hunger level. Since calorie counting isn't a good idea for you and you still do need to monitor what you're eating, this is a far superior method. Write down what you ate, when you ate it, and how hungry you were.
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Focusing On Wholesome Foods That Are Naturally Filling In Order To Get Calorie Intake Under Control Without Having To Count It. This Includes As Many Vegetables As You Can Eat And Moderate Amounts Of Fruits.
Then when looking back over your journal, the key things that you want to focus on are how healthy the food choices you're eating are (within the foods mentioned above) and whether you were at a level of seven or higher on the hunger scale from one to ten.
The more often you can see yourself accomplishing these goals, the likelier it is you're on track to weight loss. So give some careful consideration to whether you really should go on another structured diet plan. While it's very true that structured diets do tend to produce the greatest short-term weight loss since losing body fat is very scientific process, most of us do not live in a laboratory so we must consider what these diets do to our psyche.
If you can handle it and still maintain the lost weight in the long run, then a diet is a wonderful thing for you. But if you can't, then you might just find that those diets that you're going on are the exact thing that's keeping you overweight.
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