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05 Sep

Why Diets Could Lead To Weight Gain

Could it be that diets are counterproductive? Have you ever worked hard to lose weight, put mountains of effort, time and sacrifice into it? Just to feel like you are achieving the exact opposite? Here are some reasons why…

  1. Metabolic adjustments – It is common for diets to promote low energy intake. For example, My Fitness pal’s 1200 cals a day to lose 2lb a week. These caloric levels fall below your BMR, this is the amount of calories that your body needs just to function, even if you don’t move. If we consistently eat this way, our bodies can’t decipher between famine or a fad diet. Resulting in holding on to fat reserves and adjusting itself to not need as much fuel to thrive.
  2. Hormonal Adjustments – Diets can alter our hormones significantly. Two of the major players are Ghrelin and Leptin. When the body is not getting enough fuel, ghrelin our hunger hormones are upregulated, resulting in higher levels of hunger and somewhat cyclically our leptin levels (the hormone that indicates fullness) is down regulated and can also be a catalyst for decrease in metabolic rate.
  3. Restriction – Studies have shown that the restriction of food may lead to a higher propensity to compulsive eat or to binge. Your body will always fight to keep a homeostatic balance . To put it another way, when you are cold your body shivers to warm up, when you go through a period of famine your body will turn up the food seeking signals because it wants you to live. Many of us see this behaviour as a failure of willpower, when in reality it’s our body looking after us.
  4. Nutrient deficiency – Cutting out food groups may lead to energy deficit but also nutrient deficiencies. Diets such as Keto, focus on foods high in fat to switch the bodies energy source. However also eliminates integral food groups such as legumes, wholegrains and vegetables resulting in a lack of fibre, antioxidants and Vitamins. This may cause greater levels of stress on the body which can downregulate metabolism.

In many ways diets advise us to go against our bodies and minds. Intuitive eating allows you to heal and follow your bodies cues and needs, in a sustainable and gentle way.