I briefly touched on this topic in my free eBook, but in this post I will dig bit deeper and explain to you why dieting is the devil. I will explain why this is a horrible weight loss strategy, how it makes you gain more weight in the long run, and a few better options that you can take to achieve your health goals for 2014. Let’s get started!
First of all, let me quickly define and explain what your metabolism is. The word metabolism is defined by Webster as “the chemical processes by which a plant or an animal uses food, water, etc., to grow and heal and to make energy”. Basically, your metabolism has everything to do with the type and quantity of food you eat, and how your body breaks it down at a cellular level to convert it into energy.
Your metabolic rate is the amount of energy you expend on a daily basis. The higher your metabolic rate, the more energy and calories your body has to burn through everyday just to stay alive and function properly. A person with a very “active” job, such as a coal shoveler in the engine room of the Titanic, would have a much higher metabolic rate than someone who has a desk job and sits for 8+ hours day simply because the coal shoveler needs a lot more energy to be able to perform his job and stay alive. Basically, the higher your metabolic rate, the easier it is for you to stay lean, mean, and in charge. The lower your metabolic rate, the easier it is for your body to store extra fat, become bloated, and feel like shit.
Why Dieting Sucks
Ok, so now you know that if you want to lose weight, look, and feel great, then your best way to do this would be to speed up your metabolic rate, right? By doing this, your body will burn through more calories and energy on a daily basis, and you will be able to stop the accumulation of body fat and actually burn off your existing body fat. A great way to do this would be to combine cardiovascular training with strength training so that you can put on MUSCLE MASS.
The funny thing about putting on muscle mass, even a little bit of it, is that it will jack up your metabolic rate. In order for your body to support the added muscle mass, it has to burn through more and more calories. Literally, the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be, and the more calories you will burn through on a daily basis even when you are resting and watching television. How cool is that?
What does this have to do with dieting you ask? Well, when you diet, or cut calories from your body you screw yourself up in way more ways than one. Many people are able to lose “weight” while dieting, but many of the world’s dieters are under the false perception that it is “fat” that they are losing, and that is what is responsible for the weight loss.
In reality, a long with the fat, people are losing a lot of water and muscle mass. In fact, the amount of muscle mass lost frequently outweighs the amount of fat lost. What does this mean? You guessed it. It means that after the diet is over, that person will now have a slowed down metabolic rate. It is now much slower because they don’t have anywhere near as much muscle mass, and their body now does not have to burn all those extra calories to maintain the muscle.
What happens next? Well, after the diet is over, most people go back to eating a “regular” diet again. A regular diet + a lowered metabolism = a faster rate of fat gain. After a diet, one is actually predisposed to gaining the fat back at a quicker rate, and usually in greater amounts. This is the culprit behind the “Yo-yo effect” where a person will lose 20 pounds only to gain back 30 pounds etc… The cycle goes on and on, and people only get fatter and fatter.
A Better Plan of Attack
A much better plan to address your fat loss would be to workout. Working out, regardless of what type you are doing, is a sure way to boost up your metabolism. Many people will be tempted to do both, workout and diet, in an attempt to “double” their weight loss goals. This is a really counterintuitive approach though. You cannot put muscle on, and increase your metabolic rate, if you are starving your body and depriving it of nutrition. When you workout you are placing stress on your body to adapt and grow stronger. After the workout is over, your body will crave nutrition in order for it to be able to repair itself and get stronger. Dieting will disrupt this whole process, lower your energy, and make you weaker. Just don’t do it people.
Start circuit training (you can read about this in my eBook), start eating more green leafy vegetables, and start drinking more water. Eating dark green vegetables in addition to your new workout program is a sure fire way to kick start your fat loss. Vegetables like broccoli, kale, chard, and spinach will provide you with a ton of fiber to fill you up, help regulate your hormone levels, and alkalinize your blood. In addition, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower will help neutralize your excess estrogen (the female sex hormone) which largely contributes to fat gain.
Basically, just live a healthy lifestyle. Most people know what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle, but if you are a little hazy on the steps then I will help remind you of a few things in order to help you get there:
1) Drink more water
2) Eat more green vegetables (corn and potatoes don’t count)
Sure that list is a huge simplification, but so what? There are no secret formulas or calorie counting gimmicks that will give you all the results you are looking for. Just do your best to live a healthy lifestyle, and get up every once in a while and move your body around. Avoid starving yourself in hopes of a new body. Our ancestors never would have given up the chance to enjoy some high quality, nourishing food and neither should you!