There are too many diets these days. Many diets promise you that you will lose weight very quickly. Up to 5 kilos per week. Although this often happens, people usually regain the weight quickly after dieting. Only 5 percent of people who have followed a diet actually maintain a lower weight. How is this possible?
What does losing weight do to our body?
Most diets are based on suddenly eating less or differently. It is important to know what happens in your body to gain insight into why such a diet does not work.
When you start dieting, the body’s reserves are used. The first reserves used by the body are glycogen reserves. Glycogen is a sugar and is mainly stored in the liver and skeletal muscles. When there is an excess of energy, glycogen is stored and when energy is needed it is broken down. When you lose weight with a fast diet, you first lose your glycogen reserves.
In addition, 2.7 grams of fluid are stored per gram of glycogen. This also applies. Fluid makes up half of the weight lost in the first two weeks of a diet!
Only when the glycogen is completely depleted is fat burned. The muscles and organs run on fatty acids instead of glycogen. However, the brain does not function on fatty acids. They need about 120 grams of glucose per day, which is normally made from glycogen. To solve this, ketone substances can be formed from Acetyl Acetate of 4 carbon atoms. This is introduced into the blood and thus reduces the brain’s need for glucose. However, a deficit of 30 grams still remains. During the breakdown of fat, glycerol is also released. This is converted into glucose in the liver. That yields another 20 grams of glucose. The last 10 grams are provided by breaking down proteins into amino acids. These proteins, for example, come from muscle tissue, which means that muscle tissue is lost when losing weight.
During long-term diets with very little or very one-sided nutrition or during prolonged fasting, proteins are also burned in addition to fatty acids. These proteins come not only from muscles, but also from the heart and lungs. To produce 10 grams of glucose daily for the brain, 30 grams of protein per day is needed. When someone fasts for 40 days, so much protein is broken down that it leads to death. Fat reserves cannot prevent this.
What are the consequences of diets
Now that we know what happens in our body when we eat less or differently, we can better understand why a diet is not good
Dieting makes you gain weight!
People think that feeling hungry is part of losing weight. When you feel hungry and you do not eat, your body will be much more economical with the incoming nutrients. Glycogen is normally present in the body at standard levels. During a diet the body cannot maintain this level. When you suddenly eat more after a diet, the body wants to increase the glycogen stock. This is to prevent it from running out of energy again in the future.
Your body has also started working more efficiently. When you start eating more, you will gain weight because your body sees this as an excess of food! It stores the excess food and quickly replenishes fat depots. Because you gain weight, you start dieting again and the infamous yo-yo effect occurs.
You lose weight largely due to fluid loss and muscle loss
Although dieting will actually help you lose weight, it is not losing weight the right way. You want to lose fat, not water or muscle.
Loss of valuable minerals
With the loss of moisture you also lose valuable minerals. The consequences of this are that you will experience unwanted symptoms such as fatigue, headache or nervousness.
At first, this way of losing weight seems to be quick and easy, but at a certain point the body’s reserves are used up. Then it turns out that you are no longer losing weight, despite the diet.
It is harmful to your metabolism
Dieting once in a while does not have such a major impact on your metabolism. However, if you diet often, this can certainly cause problems.
Stop thinking in terms of diets
As we have seen, dieting does not work. You think that dieting will make you feel better, that everything will be easier and that you will be more successful. This is not the case. Moreover, you become frustrated when it turns out that you are unable to lose weight and you cannot maintain it. You think that you will not be successful in other areas and because you do not feel well from eating less, other things will also not go as well. Food can even become an obsession! Dieting also implies that it is a temporary affair. However, that’s not how losing weight works. Losing weight means a different way of eating and exercising and it means persevering and changing.
It’s not about the food
You diet by eating fewer calories. Often this does not help because there is another reason why you handle food in a certain way. You need to look for this cause and address it.
Don’t pay too much attention to the numbers on the scale
Your weight on the scale is not always constant and can fool you. For example, if you have just drunk half a liter of water, this will be reflected on the scale. However, you have not arrived! The same goes for fruit and salads. If you have a lot of muscle, it gives you extra weight, but that does not mean you are too fat. So don’t get discouraged if the scale shows a little more. This could easily have a very innocent cause.
You lose weight by consuming more calories than you consume
Therefore, learn good and healthy eating habits, but do not make it a goal to eat as little as possible. That is just unhealthy and frustrating and will not help you at all in the long term!
You lose weight by burning fat
When do you burn fat? When you move! Whether you like it or not; If you want to lose weight, you will have to exercise.
Judge whether you are losing weight by looking at
- how much energy you have.
- how well your clothes fit.
- the good habits you have taught yourself.
- the scale, but only once or twice a week. Don’t limit yourself to the number on the scale. You can step on the scale several times, but then make a graph to see whether there is a generally downward trend. Never let the scale dominate!
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