Dieting Makes You Fat... Will the Paleo Diet Help We...Abel James
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Today I'm going to rant a bit about dieting. Dieting Makes You Fat. Read more from the Fat-Burning Man.
Most of what I recommend to my readers, listeners and clients flies in the face of popular beliefs and everything you have been told is the truth.
Tainted by special interests, powerful industry lobbyists, sleazy health and fitness gurus and others, the lion's share of conventional wisdom about diet and health is wrong, and those who trumpet its claims are misinformed, misguided, or simply misleading you. If someone tells you to eat less and exercise more, stop listening.
Despite decades of proven evidence in scientific literature, it is amazing how few people seem to be aware of the fact that long-term dieting is counterproductive.
Years ago, my father shared a story about his sister who struggled with weight during adolescence. To encourage weight loss, her doctor put her on an insanely restrictive diet regimen. Although it was painful and required incredible willpower and restraint, she successfully limited herself to a starvation diet of fewer than 600 calories a day. She lost several pounds over the course of a few weeks, but the weight loss eventually stalled. And then the weight came back.
How could it be that her siblings could eat over 3000 calories a day and stay lean while she was eating less than 600 and remained overweight? The answer, folks (all together now): hormones. When you starve yourself, your metabolism slows as an adaptive response, you lose muscle, and you gain fat as soon as you start eating normally again.
It isn't the quantity of food that really matters -- it's the quality. The modern conception that "a calorie is a calorie" is simply wrong. By that line of logic, chugging a soda makes you just as fat as eating a can of tuna. That is completely preposterous. The quality and type of food you put in your body has far reaching effects on your hormones and metabolism.
Dieting, or eating less energy than you burn, doesn't work. By some estimates, as many as 80% of overweight people who actually lose weight after a diet gain some or all of the weight back within one year. And most approaches are faddish and often completely ridiculous.
One diet suggests you eat at least three grapefruit a day, another demands that you ingest nothing but raw vegetables, and still others declare that you will only reach enlightenment by drinking murky-colored juice, nibbling on expensive private-label frozen dinners, or slugging cabbage soup.
If you have enormous self restraint and can stand eating very little for extended periods of time, you might lose some weight (and you'll definintely lose some muscle). But here's the thing -- unless you're some freak of nature, the weight comes right back. Why?
Maintaining the same level of caloric intake for extended periods of time is detrimental to long-term fat loss. As a result of extended caloric restriction, your body initiates a starvation response that lowers your metabolic rate and increases your appetite due to a decrease in leptin, a fat-burning hormone. This, in turn, increases production of cortisol (a stress hormone) which feeds on your muscle and makes it much more difficult to continue to lose fat.
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