Diets do not work. Research shows that just focussing on
calories for weight loss or low fat foods has been a miserable failure and
eating less and exercising more has dismally failed us. With the majority of diets nearly
everyone losses weight then puts on the weight again once they stop. Often more
than before and with more abdominal fat and less lean muscle. These diet focus
on calorie restrictions, low fat, low carbohydrates, low protein or various
combination of these. They fail because they are not based on our overall
health and nutritional requirements, they are diets and not lifestyle programs,
they do not satisfy our hunger, physical, biochemistry and often totally
overlook the environmental, social, psychological and emotional component of
weight control. They fail because they are often one plan to suit everyone and
we are all very different. More than this they work against our genetic coding
our millions of years of evolution. Of course they don’t work.
Most restricted diets will play havoc with your body, its
biochemistry and genes. This may not concern you now but it will be a part of
why the diet doesn’t work. The foods we eat literally determine all the
important chemicals in the body and not enough of a number of nutrients can
lead to weight gain, depression, low motivation, and low energy as well as long
term health problems. Many of the healthy foods we eat also talk to our genes
and tell them to burn more, eat less or even feel better without any
consideration for counting calories. Many of the diets leave you feeling run
down, tired and grumpy but also more prone to chronic illness.
Weight control is about making lifestyle changes in order to
permanently keep weight off. Weight control involves change not sacrifice. The
reason why these diets are so popular is that they offer the consumer a quick
and easy solution to weight control. The reason why these diets are short lived
and not followed is that diet guidelines that ask us to restrict caloric intake
and also eat specific foods will make the average consumer get bored and maybe
transfer onto another diet restarting the cycle again.
New fad diets will continue to emerge and more diet products
will invade supermarket and pharmacy shelves. Over the past few years recent
research has shown that these so called fad diets are not helping us lose
weight but in fact increasing our long-term susceptibility to diseases.
Restricted diets are often deficient in the nutrient that communicate with your
genes to tell your body to work effectively including vitamin C, A ,D ,E ,K , folate,
antioxidants, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids and fiber particularly as
prebiotics. Deficiency in these key nutrients has been seen to increase the
risk of many forms of cancer and heart disease and more recently linked with
weight gain and a lower quality of life. In one study of women dieting showed
impaired mental performance, poor immediate memory and slower reaction times.
When the brain does not get the right nutrients it begins to shut down. Many
people would know this as brain fog and is away of protecting the brain in
times of food shortages. It has also been shown to lower motivation and drive. So
you drop out of the diet.
If these diets worked there would be no more obesity, but
Peter Dingle has a BEd, BSc hons, PhD.
Dr Dingle has spent the last 25 years researching and writing on topics related to health, nutrition and the environment. He was an Academic at Murdoch University and retired as an Associate Professor in 2011. He continues to do his research and has 14 books in print.