The latest craze in these plans may seem attractive, but often these plans are doomed to failure or worse. Here’s why.
The problem with fad diets
- Forget fad diets. They simply do not work, partly because they are usually too drastic to be followed throughout your life.
- Moreover, many of these plans are not quite the subject of scientific research that would support the merits (sometimes ridiculous) attributed to them. Even if you have the feeling of losing a lot of weight at the beginning of these plans, much of that weight loss is actually a water loss.
- Your body burns stored sugars that previously absorbed the excess water. Then you get to the “plateau” phase, after which it is increasingly difficult to lose weight still. It is at this stage that most people get discouraged.
An analysis of 31 studies shows clearly that it is very common for a voluntary system fails in the long run.
- While people have lost weight in the first six months over a period of five years, two-thirds resume more weight than they had initially lost. In truth, the human body has evolved to survive periods of food consumption reduced by transforming into “starvation mode”.
- This means that its metabolism, the rate at which it burns calories, adapts to try to conserve energy.
- Therefore, if you significantly reduce your calorie intake, your body will respond by starting with burn fewer calories to maintain normal functioning of your body process. He learns to expect a low dietary intake.
- As soon as your calorie intake increases, you are more likely to gain weight until your body adjusts to the new, and this can take months.
Even worse than the one-time shock diets, the effect “yo-yo” or loss-recovery cycles, in which people are trapped in a weight loss regimen followed by weight regain, followed by another plan to lose again weight.
- In general, a person who is too excited to lose weight quickly adopts an extreme diet and, if it can keep for a while, is at first delighted with the weight she lost little of time.
- But diets that deprive you too are impossible to follow in the long term, and they make you irritable, tired and depressed.
- They also increase food cravings and encourage you to overeat when you stop the diet. As a result, you feel like a failure, even if it is the fad diet that failed, not you.
Small changes are good
If you lose weight too quickly only by the effect of a shock plan, the main danger is that you will lose muscle mass and body fat, especially if you do not exercise.
- To the extent that muscle burns more calories than fat, it is not good to lose muscle mass. When you stop your diet and you start to eat more, you will gain only fat unless you are exercising outside.
- Thus, the shock system converts fat into muscle, causing an increase in the ratio between fat and muscle and slow your metabolism, resulting in long-term weight gain.
- Studies show that the shock system reduces levels of good cholesterol (HDL), slows the heart flow in postmenopausal women and actually increases your body fat percentage.
- You are much more likely to lose weight permanently by making small sustainable changes in your diet.
- To be sure to gradually lose weight and stably, it is preferable to combine a healthy diet with more exercise.
- Most people are overweight or obese should make it a goal to lose five to 10% of their starting weight in the first three months of diet. You should soon notice the positive effect on your health, especially if you already have high blood pressure, diabetes or arthritis.