Ramona used to diet a lot in college, and it showed in her reed thin frame. But after a decade, the diets no longer work for her. She almost starves herself for weeks, yet does not lose any weight. On the other hand, even one extra sandwich added to her diet shows on the scales the very next day! Ramona is understandably quite depressed about this.
Ramona is not the only one facing this predicament. Thousands of women go on a reducing diet with the sole aim of losing weight. But it does not work for most of them. Positive results, if any, are temporary and lead to weight gain in the long run. Why?
Why Do Diets Fail?
Here are the most common reasons why reducing diets fail:
Non Adherence: Sticking to a diet requires resolve and determination. But a big percentage of dieters drop out of their diet with the first 2 months. Very few stick to it for more than a year. But the most important thing is that weight loss achieved with a reducing diet, if any, is regained within 3-5 years.
Lower Metabolism: The low calorie intake during a diet forces our metabolic system to slow down. The organism perceives a famine situation and goes into conservation mode. So you feel tired and irritated on one hand, and your metabolism slows down on the other.
Diet Alone: Most women think that dieting alone can solve the weight loss problem. But it can’t. If you really want to lose weight, you have no choice but to add an exercise program to your dieting efforts. Otherwise, you will hit a plateau after losing the first few kilos.
Depression: A low calorie diet can set you off into depression. And everyone knows that people binge the most when depressed. So the chances of cheating on your diet are high when you are depressed. This seems to be going nowhere now, does it?
Loss Of Muscle: When you go on a reducing diet without support of exercise, you tend to lose only the lean muscle weight. The fat does not budge. If you compare the two, a kilo of muscle burns more calories per hour than a kilo of fat. So losing muscle and keeping the fat is very counter productive to the objective of losing weight!
Temporary & Expensive: Fad Diets can be very expensive for an average person, so it is hard to stick with them for very long. Also, the temporary nature of a diet means that you will go back to “normal” eating after some time. Any weight you may have lost, will follow soon after.
Quick Fix: Everyone wants to lose weight “quickly”. So in an attempt to lose 2-3 kilos per week, people go on severe calorie restrictions. But the reality is that weight lost quickly, comes back quickly. The correct approach is to take it slow and easy. Introduce lifestyle changes that will help you in losing weight slowly over the months, and in keeping it off.
The most effective way to lose weight is to embark on a proper weight loss program, which combines lifestyle changes with exercise and activity. Always remember, there is no shortcut to weight loss!!!