Monday, September 24, 2012

So... Why don't 'diets' work?????

Any meal plan we attempt to follow that cuts out whole food groups or labels specific foods as 'forbidden' has the potential to lead to an emotional feeling of deprivation and a physical craving, especially if we go cold turkey on a food that we routinely consume... Bring on the diet/binge cycle!! 

Anyone who has ever dieted knows about this one. It goes a lit
tle like this:

We start this amazing new diet which promises incredible and fast results (complete with all those testimonials) as long as we stop eating carbs (for example). So.. we dive in, head first. For the first week we go well. We drop 3 kg (probably of water) and feel so proud of ourselves!!!

But then, we get tired, light headed and emotional (angry or sad or angry AND sad)... We get that feeling of deprivation, like we are the only one in world who isn't 'allowed' to eat chocolate (for example) because we are too fat!!! We get that "why me"??

We give in and just have a little bit... it tastes sooooo good.. but then, we feel like a failure. We have stuffed the whole diet. We are stupid and hopeless. We feel that now that it is stuffed, we may as well eat the whole lot and start again tomorrow!!! We eat the lot.. not even taking the time to taste and enjoy it.

At the end of that week/month when we weigh in, we haven't reached that huge weight loss goal we aimed for, you know, the one that all those other people in the testimonials were able to achieve, so we eat for comfort... all of those forbidden foods, just because they are forbidden and we don't want to feel deprived anymore.....

Then, feeling fat... we do a google search.. and there is this amazing new diet that promises incredible and fast results, as long as you don't eat any......... Yep.. the cycle starts again..

While we are going through this horrible cycle, this is what is happening in our bodies:

We restrict our food intake by going on an excessive diet. The calorie/nutrient deprivation causes loss of primarily glycogen and water (fat loss does not happen quickly - if a diet claims to make you lose >1 kg per week you will be losing water and muscle...). This produces excellent results on the scales!!

The body goes into a state of starvation and begins to burn muscle protein for energy - there is STILL no significant fat loss. The metabolic rate is reduced due to a reduction in muscle mass.

The feeling of deprivation sets in and we binge eat. Because the body is in a state of starvation, it stores food in order to protect against future starvation.

The reduced metabolic rate means that we end up fatter than we were to start with. we feel disgusting and start the cycle all over again!

t is THIS... The dieting and the "failing" that causes weight gain.....

The answer to having a healthy, happy body, I think, lies in having a healthy, happy mind. The answer is in building our knowledge in relearning what many of us have forgotten - love for and trust in ourselves. Knowledge gives us the power to make the best decisions for ourselves. Loving ourselves no matter what is what we need to work on in order to stop us from falling into these dieting and advertising traps. Trust is what we need to try and have for ourselves and our bodies. If we listen to our bodies, they will tell us what we need. Happiness happens when we learn to listen, trust and love.

I believe that weight issues, like many issues, are usually a side effect of something that lies much deeper... If we can work on the deep things that prevent the love, trust and happiness, the side effects will slip away...

Knowledge is what I do best. So that is what I am going to share.. Trust, love and happiness are things I am still working on!!

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