“No other area of the national health probably is as abused by deception and misinformation as nutrition. Many travesties cheat the public of enormous sums of money, and good health as well.”
from: White House Conference on Food, Nutrition & Health. May 1969
…and yet, in the intervening 50 years this problem has grown exponentially. In 2018 Americans spent $72billion on their diet industry – notwithstanding its incredible failure rate (95%+).
If you are wondering why obesity continues to be such an insoluble problem then you need to understand a fundamental truth about ‘diets’ – they don’t work! Indeed, why would a short term change (a ‘diet’) solve a long term problem?
And the science around dieting is even more damning. A very brief explanation follows – with a full account being contained in module#1 of the Tenkilos Knowledgebase.
There are two primary physiological reasons that your short term diet regime will fail – a decrease in metabolism and a change that sudden calorie restriction triggers in two hunger hormones. To summarize this:
#1. When food (calories) is restricted the body burns muscle in preference to its primary energy store (fat). This acts to lower the rate of resting energy consumption (metabolism or BMR) – meaning you now ‘burn’ fewer calories when resting.
#2. Diets also destabilize the hunger hormones Ghrelin & Leptin. Together Leptin resistance and an increase in Ghrelin (both common consequences of dieting) can prevent weight loss in the longer term. This is also the reason that short term diets increase cravings – especially for those foods that will increase your body fat stores.
The body changes to burn less energy as its composition alters in favour of fat at the expense of muscle. Your diet has effectively reset your body to have more fat & less muscle (great!) meaning a lower metabolic rate and hence more prone to weight gain.
The Yo-Yo syndrome
Yo-Yo dieting (or cyclical weight gain) is a term that refers to the cyclical loss and subsequent gain of weight; resembling the up-down motion of a yo-yo.
In this process the dieter may achieve some success but is unsuccessful in maintaining the weight loss and begins to gain it back – often with a premium. The subsequent weight gain is invariably due to decreased metabolism and increased cravings, especially for fats (the 2 mechanisms described above).
The dieter, later recalling their initial success, is prone to repeating this cycle – maybe by choosing a “better” diet. Sound familiar? If not then sadly it almost inevitably would – if you started down the path of ‘dieting’.
So, don’t be a duffer (diet, fail & repeater) – get with the programme and achieve your own lifetime transformation.