Why Your Diet Isn’t Working – and The Secret to What Will
It’s a minefield out there for any woman wanting to lose weight. There are so many diets on the market, and most of them contradict each other. Should you go low carb, low fat, low calorie? Or maybe a points based system like Weight Watchers? Perhaps the grapefruit diet is the way to go, or cabbage soup, or South Beach, or baby food, or blood type, or raw food, or…..? Chances are you’ve probably tried many different diets, and you might have even lost some weight – but it never works long term. Why are your diets failing so badly?
An Unhealthy Single Nutrient/Single Food Emphasis
Most diet plans are simply not good for you. Many are based on cutting back on or increasing a single type of nutrient such as fat, carbohydrate or protein, while others are based on giving a single food such as a grapefruit some kind of magical, mystical property it doesn’t really possess. Still others do away with natural food altogether and rely upon synthetic meal replacement shakes or diet pills.
Your body is an incredible feat of biological engineering. Mother nature has provided a rich variety of foodstuffs in the world to feed and power it – and you need all of them, in healthy amounts. No diet based on a single nutrient, a single food or a synthetic food is going to work for you, long term, and you may even be doing serious damage to your body along the way.
Why Low Carb Diets Don’t Work
Cutting out or drastically reducing carbohydrates may lead to some quick weight loss, but this kind of diet is unsustainable long term, and can damage your health.
Carbohydrates play an essential role in maintaining a healthy blood sugar level, and experts recommend that around 45% of your daily calorie intake should come from carbs – yet low carb diets reduce that to around 8%. When your body doesn’t get enough carbohydrates, it will first and foremost burn muscle tissue to provide the glucose it needs. This reduces your metabolism, and slows the rate at which you burn calories.
Only after this will your body begin to burn fat. The process of turning fat into glucose produces ketones, which make you feel tired, light-headed and nauseous. Excessively high levels of ketones are toxic to the body.
Most people do not stick to a low carb diet for very long, because the cravings are bad. Here’s the thing: if you’re craving a certain food, your body is desperately trying to tell you that it needs the nutrients that food provides. No healthy diet will produce cravings of this nature, so the fact that low carb diets do should set alarm bells ringing.
Having come off your low carb diet, you suddenly find that you put all the weight back on and then some, which is all down to your lowered metabolic rate. Add in the fact that many low carb diets, such as the Atkins diet, are very high in fat and you can see why experts say that low carb diets can increase your risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Why Low Fat Diets Don’t Work
OK, so if low carb isn’t the way to go, low fat must be – right? Wrong. The problems with low fat diets are multiple.
For a start, low fat foods are generally pretty tasteless, so manufacturers go all out to add taste and texture, usually by adding sugar and harmful hydrogenated fats. Many low fat diets end up being very high in carbohydrates, which leads to mood swings and blood sugar problems. When you eat a high carb diet, excess carbohydrates are turned into fat by the liver, and this process can lead to elevated triglycerides, which put you at an increased risk for heart disease.
Studies have shown that low fat diets reduce your level of HDL intake (“good” cholesterol), which is another risk factor for cardiovascular problems. These diets also lower levels of testosterone – you might not think that’s a problem for you as a woman, but you’re wrong: low levels of testosterone in the female body have been linked to osteoporosis, depression and low libido.
Low fat diets make many wholesome, nutrient-rich foods off limits – by cutting down on meat and eggs, for instance, you are not eating a balanced diet and you’re missing out on fats which are important for health.
Yes, you’ll lose some weight on a low fat diet – but these diets are tough to stick to, and don’t set up healthy eating habits for life. That’s why when you stop the diet, most people find the weight comes straight back.
Why Low Calorie Diets Don’t Work
So, no to low carb and no to low fat – but low calorie must be OK, right, since it’s not cutting out any one type of nutrient? Well, low calories diets may be less harmful to your health than the previous two, but they’re not very effective at all at losing weight. Here’s why:
You need a certain amount of calories a day to maintain your weight. It’s true that in order to lose weight, you need to consumer fewer calories than you burn – but on a low calorie diet, your body thinks it’s starving. We’ve evolved a defense mechanism to help protect us during periods of famine, and it involves turning the metabolic rate right down so that we burn fewer calories. With your metabolism at rock bottom, fatigue, constipation and nausea set in – and of course, constantly feeling hungry is not great for your mood or general wellbeing.
It’s a pretty miserable experience and, let’s face it, not sustainable. You can’t starve yourself for ever – what kind of a life would that be? You will lose weight quite rapidly if you slash your calorie intake, but as soon as you give up on that your rock-bottom metabolism means that you will pile the pounds back on faster than you would believe possible.
Some very low calorie diets advocate an intake of as few as 500 calories a day, which is a dangerously low level and should really only be undertaken for medical reasons and with medical supervision. With such low calorie intake, electrolyte imbalance is a real risk, as are gallstones from the rapid weight loss.
Apart from the physiological reason why low calories diets usually fail – your metabolic shut down – there are plenty of psychological reasons too. Feeling restricted by what you can eat just makes you crave the wrong things, and the urge to “cheat” is overwhelming. You’re also not teaching yourself healthy eating habits if you simply count calories, and so when the diet ends, you’re back to where you started with no new tools in your box.
Why Weight Watches Doesn’t Work
Weight Watchers and similar diet programs are based on “points” – essentially they are low calories diets with portion control. These schemes don’t work sustainably for all the reasons given above, but there’s an added danger with these commercialized schemes too.
Weight Watchers plans are only concerned with calories, not with actual nutrition. A lot of the recommended foods are pretty junky, with high levels of unhealthy synthetic ingredients such as aspartame and MSG. Highly processed foods like these will interfere with your hormone levels, and will also show up poorly in your skin and hair.
The lack of “real food” on a Weight Watchers plan is a nutritional concern and also a psychological one. Again, you’re not learning anything about nutrition and healthy eating habits, and the restrictions on what you can eat lead to boredom and inconvenience.
Although the camaraderie of Weight Watchers can help to motivate people, ultimately these types of diet plans are just as doomed to long term failure as the rest.
Why Meal Replacement Shakes and Diet Pills Don’t Work
Shakes and pills face similar concerns about potentially harmful synthetic ingredients, and psychologically they make you feel deprived and resentful. Yet again, you are not setting up good habits for life, and this is why meal replacement plans are unsustainable in the long term, and why most people put back on any weight they have lost during such a plan.
Where Does Exercise Fit In?
To lose weight, you do need to exercise. It’s a simple equation that I’m sure you’re familiar with – you must take in fewer calories than you burn each day, and part of the burning involves exercise.
However, the right kind of exercise really matters. In order to maximize weight loss, you should increase your lean muscle tissue, so that your metabolic rate speeds up and your body burns calories more efficiently. The right amount of exercise is important too. Too little exercise and nothing will really happen. Too much exercise, surprisingly, can also limit your weight loss. This is because if you burn too much muscle tissue, your metabolism will slow down, making it harder for you to lose the next few founds. It’s a delicate balance to find.
So What Kind of Diet Really Works?
As a fitness specialist and personal trainer, I’ve spent years figuring out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to nutrition for weight loss and healthy exercise levels. Over that time I’ve observed that an effective weight loss diet and exercise plan must:
- work with your body, not against it
- be tailored to your exact nutritional requirements
- be easy to fit into your daily life and routines
- not make you feel deprived, hungry or irritable
- encompass all food groups and be nutritionally balanced
With a core understanding of metabolism, physiology and the way your body works, I’ve created a diet and exercise plan especially for women which is easy to follow and which gets real results. You won’t have to spend hours in the gym every day, and you won’t have to miss out on your favorite foods either.
Physically, with my diet plan you’ll feel full and satisfied, and you’ll enjoy your food. You’ll also find you have more energy and your skin and hair will improve.
Mentally, you’ll feel positive, motivated and excited to continue the plan as you start to see real, sustainable results. This isn’t a flash in the pan fad diet; I can teach you how to lose the fat and keep it off for good, through easy to understand knowledge about how your body works and to how to help your body be the best it can be.
What’s the secret? Sign up to watch my free webinar and I’ll tell you. You’ll feel empowered to know that finally, something will work for you – something good, positive, fun and healthful. Ditch the fad diets and start understanding your body instead. With my help, you can reach your ideal weight and feel fabulous along the way – and you’ll stay that way in the years to come.