How Diets Make You Fat

Happy New Year! 2016 is just beginning and that means (dun dun duuuun) New Year’s Resolutions!

I don’t know if any of you get the urge to poll people. Sometimes, I want to know why everyone is exiting the freeway. Is there something I don’t know about? A super sale? A special event? A dinosaur up ahead destroying Los Angeles?

 

The Month of Dieting

In January, I want to know who has made a New Year’s resolution, what it is, and what they intend to do to keep that resolution past February 1st. Did you resolve to lose weight, exercise more, fit into a certain pair of jeans, drink green juices, or never let a piece of delicious chocolate pass your lips ever again?

I’m going to take a gander that millions of Americans just put themselves on a diet, something along the lines of less food, more exercise, no dessert, some sort of list of “ok” and “not ok” foods, and a bunch of rules.

chocolate cupcakes

 

…and Breaking Your Resolutions

I’m also going to make the (not-so-risky) prediction that for almost everyone who starts this kind of diet, they will:

  • lose weight
  • gain it back
  • and some will gain even more so they they weigh more than when they started their diet

I’m not here to dash your hopes of weight loss to the ground. What I’m saying is that diets are not the way to lasting weight loss and, in fact, they do more harm to your body, weight and metabolism.

Here’s how.

want to gain weight - go on a diet

How Diets Make You Fat

Diets are inherently made to fail. If you don’t believe me, how do you think the weight loss industry maintains it’s multi-billion dollar status each year. If diets work, then they should go out of business because everyone who goes on a diet will lose their weight and keep it off. Instead, diets are made to NOT work so that you will continue to need books, expensive rabbit food, magical elixirs, pills and potions and other nonsense to try to reach your ever elusive goals.

The problems with diets are simple. Here are a few illustrations of how things can go from bad to worse very quickly:

  • too few Calories leads to
  • being hungry, which leads to
  • food cravings, which leads to
  • binging, weight gain, calling it quits, which leads to
  • feelings of guilt, shame, being “out of control” and a failure, which leads to
  • “getting serious this time”, recommitting, “building willpower”, trying a different diet, which leads to
  • the same cycle (or a different but equally damaging cycle)

Here’s another common scenario:

  • rigid food rules about what and when you eat lead to
  • feelings of deprivation, lack of freedom, rebellion, being trapped or controlled which leads to
  • breaking food rules, which leads to
  • feelings of guilt, shame, being “out of control” and a failure, which leads to (sound familiar?)
  • the same cycle (or a different but equally damaging cycle)

And if I haven’t been convincing enough, here’s one more:

  • weight loss from restrictive eating and exercising more leads to
  • a damaged metabolism where you are maintaining your weight on 1,000 Calories a day, which leads to
  • increased physiological drive to eat (hello hunger and cravings), which leads to
  • eating more than 1,000 Calories a day, which leads to
  • rapid weight regain, which leads to
  • feelings of guilt, shame, being “out of control” and a failure, which leads to (sound familiar?)
  • the same or different cycle

All these cycles end up with you ending the diet, being upset at yourself (instead of the stupid diet), and weighing the same as when you started the diet (or more) but now also being self-critical, discouraged, angry, etc.

 

It’s Crazy Making!

Instead of joining in this crazy making, I hope that you will consider a diet-free approach to weight loss. If you want to learn more about how to lose weight WITHOUT dieting,  check out posts that I’ve written on the topic here, here, here and here, listen to these podcast episodes here, here, here and here, or drop me a line!

Here’s to a New Year free of diets and craziness!

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