As we leave the first week of February, there are probably a lot of people reading this who have already quit or are on the verge of abandoning their “New Year, New Me” diet. Weeks of eating leaves, more leaves, nothing but leaves (barring that one day where you caved and ate all the leftover Christmas chocolate) have left you at breaking point. Sure, the weight has dropped off, and you definitely are here for the compliments you’ve been getting on your svelte figure but, despite extolling the virtues of you’re a-list diet to everyone who asks, its been a real struggle, and you’re ready to quit. Welcome to the club. You’re on the latest diet in a long list we’ll call the “doomed-from-the-start diet list”, and it is on its way to the diet graveyard.
But why? Why do so many diets fall by the wayside? The reason for their early success is, actually, the reason for their inevitable failure.
There is something we have to consider when analysing a diet. One universal, undeniable truth;
That’s right, its no “secret to weight loss”. When you consume fewer calories than you use, your body will look to its reserves to function. Put simply, if you don’t eat enough for your body to complete its daily tasks, it will use up body fat for energy. The amount of energy your body needs to get through the day is called Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This varies depending on your physical exertion levels. When you consistently deprive your body of the calories it needs to meet TDEE, your body will adjust accordingly to meet its new caloric intake.
The rate at which your body burns fat is known as the metabolic rate. There are a significant number of factors which affect metabolic rate; muscle mass, body fat & organ processes are just a few that will determine the rate at which your body burns energy. When you consume calories below the amount necessary to sustain the metabolic rate, your body will make adjustments to meet the new calorie intake. Muscle mass will be decreased, body fat burned, and organ performance becomes suboptimal. Your body goes into survival mode. A new metabolic rate is established. Which is fine (well, it’s not because you’ve decreased your body’s performance but stick with us) as long as you continue to consume your new calorie level. But what happens when you give up the diet? When your caloric intake suddenly shoots up again? What happens to those calories?
Well, in short, they become body fat. Your body has adjusted to no longer need the number of calories you were consuming pre-diet and, thus, no longer has any need for them now you’ve started eating them again. So what does your body do with excess calories? It saves them for later. As bodyfat. So now you’re burning fewer calories than before you started your diet, you’re going to put on all the fat you lost with interest. There is debate about the longevity of metabolic reduction, some speculate it is a short-term condition which will eventually recover, others use a term called “metabolic damage” which presumes permanent reduction in the metabolic rate.
Food Intolerance Tests
All of this is assuming you’ve been happy with the results of your diet in the first place. What of those people who have been left frustrated by the effects of their dieting up until this point? People who have eaten “healthily” but continue to be unhappy with their body. Are you sticking to your diet but still have a bloated stomach? Food intolerance tests could be the game-changer you need. A symptom of food intolerance is bloating, this bloating can make it seem like you’re making no progress with your diet, which can affect your determination to stick with your diet. Food intolerance tests can help you identify foods that are masking your progress. Find a range of food intolerance tests to suit all budgets here.