Diets That Work
 

Spavelous Weekly Spa Magazine

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Why Diets Fail ?

 

Ever try to lose weight with a trendy, so-called "diet" or weight-loss gimmick only to experience frustration and failure? You're not alone. These types of plans often set you up for failure.

 

Reasons Diets Fail

Why Diets Fail  

The desire to lose weight must come from you.

If you're truly ambivalent about making changes in your lifestyle or are doing this to please someone else, you're likely to fail. When making changes, decide what's right for your lifestyle. Your best friend's diet and exercise plan may be completely wrong for your habits and interests. The key is to find a system that works for you.

Most diets require too many changes in eating habits.

Behavioral scientists believe it takes 27 to 40 days of repetition for the human brain to master a new habit. New "diets" often require you to learn multiple rules and regulations and record the results of various charts and tables on top of changing your eating pattern. Attempting too many changes in dietary habits at one time can overload the brain and all but guarantee defeat!

Diets deprive us.

Diets eliminating an entire food group (such as carbohydrates) and not using the full spectrum of the food pyramid are difficult to follow, and will likely lead to a slip. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, "Can I eat like this forever?" A successful diet should allow choices from all food groups in moderation, and be something that you can follow for the long term.

Depriving yourself of food can lead to depriving yourself of social events. You may give up eating meals out or eating with friends because you don't want to eat something off your diet. This can lead to depression and possible overeating to compensate for what your missing.

Going Low

If you eat too few calories and are constantly hungry, you risk an eventual willpower blowout, leading to a major diet setback. Successful diets are adequate enough in calories so you don't experience prolonged deep hunger, but low enough to allow for a moderate weight loss of 0.5-1 lb per week. Most programs indicate that a healthy weekly weight loss is ten percent of your body weight.  So if you weigh 200 pounds you should lose about 2 pounds a week.  Looking beyond weight loss, it's also important to understand that consuming less than 1,200 calories per day for an extended period of time is never a good idea because it isn't enough to give your body the nutrients it needs to function best.  Diets that severely restricts caloric intake, facilitates loss of lean body weight as opposed to fat weight. This can result in a person who isn't overweight, but has a high body fat composition.

Diets can actually lower your metabolism.

When you drastically cut back on calories, your metabolism tends to slow down. You burn fewer calories and the diet becomes less effective.  Diets that restrict nutritional intake mess with your metabolism.

A very low calorie diet,  can trigger a complex chain reaction that will eventually tell your metabolism to stop burning so many calories. Then, when you start eating normally again, it takes quite a while for your metabolic rate to get back up to speed. Meanwhile, you start gaining weight - often as much or more than you originally lost.

Emotional Eating

Traditional diets are doomed to fail because they fail to tackle the real reasons most people gain pounds, new research says.  A study by Victoria's Monash University has found that obese people don’t lose weight by following diets because one of the main reasons they over-eat is for reasons other than hunger. Most people who are above over weight say that between 50 and 80 per cent of their eating is due to habit, boredom or for reasons other than hunger.

Diets often don't fit into normal life.

Weighing and measuring food may help you lose weight, but aren't practical as long-term strategies for most people.

 
Diets fail

Diets can be expensive.

Buying special foods can rack up a big bill quickly. 

Lack of Exercise.

83 per cent of overweight people indicated that they did not exercise because they were embarrassed, were too unhealthy or felt it was too expensive to join a gym or get equipment. If you've embarked on a weight loss regime, but have no plans to incorporate exercise, your weight loss will most likely hit a frustrating plateau. Adding exercise can keep you motivated to stick to your diet, even on the weeks when the scale won't budge, since exercise can help you whittle off the inches. Regular exercise also increases the rate at which your body burns calories, helping you to see results faster than diet alone. Multiple research studies have concluded that the most successful diets include a combination of diet and exercise.  Lifetime weight management is not just about what you eat. It requires physical activity as well. Experts recommend 60-90 minutes a day most days of the week. 

Failure to plan ahead

Get rid of the high-calorie, low-nutrition snacks like chips and candy in your house and office desk. Replenish these with plenty of healthier options available.  In addition, everyone has a time when we're most likely to overeat, whether it's the morning coffee break or after-work gathering with friends. Try to plan other activities or distractions for those times, or plan in advance how you're going to handle them and stick to it.

Diets actually make your fat cells fatter

Trying to starve a fat cell only boosts its ability to store fat, take in new fat, and multiply. Fat cells respond to starvation by holding onto the fat they already have and becoming more aggressive at taking in new fat once the diet is over.

Diets are temporary

Once they have reached their goal, most people go back to "normal" eating, so the weight comes back.  90-95% of people who lose weight with diet gain most of the weight back within 3 to 5 years. 

Making temporary changes in eating habits or eating prepackaged foods from weight loss programs will facilitate weight loss. However, when you reach your goals or go off the weight loss program, you may be more likely to return to old eating habits and gain the weight back (and possibly more). To have permanent weight loss, you must make permanent changes in food choices, eating habits, and physical activity. Permanent changes in eating habits and exercise are required for sustained weight loss.

Drop Out Rate

21% of dieter dropped out in the first 2 months, 45% had quit by the end of the year.  This is why it is important to choose a program that is a lifestyle change for the long run.

Friend or Foe?

A 2007 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that those who surround themselves with overweight or obese family and friends are more likely to be overweight or obese themselves. The study found that a possible explanation for the conclusions may be that your sense of "normal" weight and eating behavior can be influenced by those around you. For example, if everyone close to you is overweight or obese, your opinion may be that being overweight or obese is normal, thus you may not be motivated to lose weight. For the best success, surround yourself with family and friends sensitive to your goal, and make a personal commitment to follow through on your plans. If you have overweight family or friends, why not make a group resolution to work together for better health?  If not, spend time with those people who will not pressure you to make poor food choices.

Your Job is making you Fat

This nation's collective weight problem probably has plenty to do with its collective workweek. It's increasingly common for Americans to work as much as a 70-hour week, and work fatigue is correlated to weight gain, according to a 2005 study by the University of Helsinki Department of Public Health.  Our loyalty is more often to our work than to our health.   

But, that is not the only reason our work is making us fat.  Working in the spa industry, I am always amazed when I go to conferences and a bottle of water is nowhere to be found, but coffee, sugar and soft drinks abound.  Not to mention the continental breakfast of pastries and donuts.  Where are the fresh fruits and nuts?  

Just think about your office, is there a snack area or vending machine with soda or chips.  Do your coworkers bring in cupcakes, brownies, donuts and other unhealthy foods to share? 

Lack of sleep increases overeating

Researchers from several separate studies have found a link between sleep and the hormones that influence our eating behavior. Two specific hormones are involved. Ghrelin is responsible for feelings of hunger. Leptin tells the brain when it’s time to stop. When you’re sleep deprived, your ghrelin levels increase at the same time that your leptin levels decrease. The result is an increased craving for food and not feeling full. Add the fact that sleep deprived people tend to chose different foods to snack on, mainly high calorie sweets and salty and starchy foods.

In a study of 1,024 people aged 30-60, Body Mass Index (BMI) levels were recorded. Those who slept only three hours a night had a 5% increase in body weight over 15 years. Researchers say that the number may well be an underestimate of the real life impact.    Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. Some more, some less. Very few of us actually get the minimum of seven. How do you know how much sleep you really need? If you are sleepless, you may want to read this previous issue of Spavelous “Now You Are In The Know”

Stress

Last week with the Flat Belly Diet, we learned that when stress is chronic, it forces an excess of steroids and other stress hormones into our bodies from the adrenal glands stimulated by the brain (specifically the hypothalamus and pituitary). These are stress steroids, and our system has to cope with them. It does so in several ways, and one of the classic ways is that the omentum, a fold of fatty tissue that encases your intestines, sucks up the excess circulating steroids to clear the system. This stimulates the omentum to inappropriately store fat whenever we eat--which is one of the reasons that stress induces you to grow a beer belly.

One thing does seem to be clear. When your body is not hungry for sleep, it won’t be so hungry for food either.

Diets that work

 

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Disclaimer: Information on this web site was gathered from many sources in public domain such as published books, articles, studies and web sites. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Please discuss your health conditions and treatments with your personal physician.

 

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