Statistics prove that only 50% of all dieters will have maintained their weight loss at the end of one year. That’s not too encouraging when you consider the average American will try to diet 3-4 times annually.
The obsession with thinness and a limited view that dieting will help you lose weight, has Americans running to buy diet aids to the tune of $10 billion per year. But the bottom line is that diets don’t work. Dieting may be the "in" social thing, but most are unsuccessful.
People who diet often can lower their metabolisms enough to decrease their caloric needs. This can be illustrated in two distinct ways:
- A diet consisting of less than 1000-1200 calories can usually cause a starvation-like state and force your body to conserve calories taken in. Your body will cut back on its caloric needs to survive by slowing down your metabolism. Therefore, you won’t lose more in the long run on a 500 calorie a day diet than you would on one above 1000 calories. This starvation state actually lowers your metabolism for as much as one year after you stop your diet.
- Crash-dieting can change the body’s composition. Let’s say you lost 10 pounds in two weeks. Most of that weight was water (about 5 pounds), some was fat (about 3 pounds) and the rest was lean-muscle (about 2 pounds). When the weight is re-gained (as 95% of all do), it will come back in the form of fat and water. Each future diet can cycle this downward trend of muscle loss until the chronic dieter will change their percentage of body fat over time from 25% to 35-40%.
Surprisingly, the scale may not show a large amount of weight change. Muscle burns up more calories than fat. Chronic dieting will make you lose a huge percentage of what helps you keep fit and trim. This "yo-yo" effect of deprivation of calories and regaining of weight can harm the body. It is better to have never dieted at all than to keep losing and regaining the same 10-20 pounds.
To lose excessive fat and maintain your body weight, you must modify eating habits, proper food choices and have a more active lifestyle. Take a fresh look at your daily diet and exercise. Get rid of the idea that a diet is something that you are going to do for about a month, after which you can go back to your old eating habits. Make some short-term goals. Slowly change your lifestyle to include healthier food choices and to be more active at work and play. You should incorporate a daily exercise routine to work in conjunction with your diet to get the results you desire.