My biggest regret in my career is a four letter word.
It’s right up there next to the ‘F’ word in my vocabulary.
I spit the word out now. Dirty, lying, life-thieving, deceiving, diet.
Yes, deceiving. Because this is what I now know for a fact about diets:
1. CHRONIC DIETING TEACHES YOUR BODY TO RETAIN MORE FAT WHEN YOU START EATING AGAIN
That’s why MANY people regain their lost weight PLUS MORE.
Your body is far cleverer than you can imagine.
You didn’t “fail” when you regained the weight plus more, you were “human”.
2. CHRONIC DIETING SLOWS THE RATE OF WEIGHT LOSS WITH EACH ATTEMPT
Notice how the first time you tried dieting it was so easy???
Next time, not quite as easy.
Next-next time, damn hard to get the same weight loss.
It’s not you, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not lazy or lacking willpower.
Your body is resourceful. It has adapted. Because it believes it’s saving you from a famine (thank you body).
3. DIETING SLOWS YOUR METABOLISM
You might weigh the same as your naturally slim friend now, but if you dieted to get to that size…
…you will forever be EATING LESS and EXERCISING MORE to retain the same weight as her.
It sucks. But it’s a fact.
Worse than that, your metabolism can slow further still at your new lower weight.
So you’ll need to eat LESS to maintain the weight loss than the already reduced diet you followed while losing the weight.
Again, it’s not you, you’re not some deformed, broken version of your slim friend.
Your body is simply responding to a diet (starvation), in the best way it knows how.
4. DIETING INCREASES BINGES AND CRAVINGS
Both humans and rats binge after food restriction.
It’s a normal survival response.
Rats prefer fat.
Humans prefer fat and sugar after weight loss – chips, chocolate, cookies, candy, pizza. You get the picture.
Trust me – you are NOT the only one bingeing at night.
You have a LOT of bingeing company – like, most all of the world’s dieters.
People just don’t talk about their binges over morning coffee at work. Strange that.
And for the record – your body is trying to get you back to its regular weight set-point.
(Your regular weight set-point may not be what YOU WANT to weigh, but it is what YOUR BODY wants).
5. DIETING CAUSES YOUR FULLNESS CUES TO FADE AWAY
Because you’ve ignored your feelings of hunger and fullness for so long while dieting…
…your body just gives up sending the signals.
Kinda like the friend that gives up on you, after you don’t return their phone-calls for several years. Funny that.
You’ll find you have NO IDEA when you’re actually full.
So when you eat freely again you end up eating meals of increasingly larger size, over time.
Boosting the odds of regaining that weight plus more.
Life is too short for this type of crap. Do the things you love. Eat the food you love.
Give the middle-finger to diets. Say to hell with this crap (‘scuse my French), but honestly, who cares if you ate french fries?
P.S. Need some more diet-fighting words in your life right now? I’ve got you covered with my slightly angry take-down on dieting right here: It’s Time to Get Mad At Their Lies.