Did Dieting Make You Fat?
By Kim Bertonica, RN
How many times have you gone on a diet? And how many times has this happened: You lose some weight only to regain that weight plus more pounds.
There are many diet schemes. Some diets are too strict which can slow metabolism and are not sustainable for long. Some diets permit unlimited amounts of healthy foods which promotes overeating. Any time you eat more than your body needs, even healthy foods, it promotes body fat.
One thing that makes diets unsustainable is the on again off again mentality. When people are “on” a diet, then slip up, they feel like they failed which then shifts them into “off” mode.
Of course, then there is PORTION SIZE.
We, as Americans, no longer know what a healthy portion size is. American portion sizes have increased since the 70’s. Food has changed in quantity and quality over the past 20 years. Most Americans eat 30-35% more calories than in the 70’s. We are also much less active.
Exercise is important for weight loss and needs to be consistently maintained. As you lose weight, your metabolism slows. Exercise will increase your metabolism.
Most people who have tried to lose weight, know how hard it is to keep it off. Many blame themselves when the pounds return. Sometimes it feels like you are fighting your own body, and there is a reason for that. Obesity research has consistently shown that dieters are at the mercy of their own bodies. Hormones and altered metabolic rates work together to regain weight that has been lost.
To lose weight and be successful you must change HOW you eat:
Keep track of what you eat and drink. Use a free app or write it down.
Exercise every day. Do something that burns calories and don’t use the “I exercised today” to overeat or think you can burn off the extra calories.
Learn about nutrition. Food is manufactured not grown; learn about healthy foods.
Don’t give up. If you slip up, you are human. Use your slip ups as learning opportunities.
Get enough sleep. Seven to eight hours; if you have sleep apnea use your CPAP.
Find time to de-stress. Turn off the electronics.
Stay in touch. There are so many virtual options to connect with others. If you are finding trouble, reach out to our program for guidance. It may be a good time to contact a psychologist so you can find professional support.
The major reason diets fail is that they have the wrong focus. They attract you by promising big weight loss in a short time. That’s not a diet; that’s a fad. Instead, you should focus on the long term because this is a life journey.