The common principle and common defect of weight loss diets is calorie restriction! But why does this fail?

When people gain weight, the first thing that comes to their mind is to go on a weight loss diet. However, this is not so easy and has many drawbacks.

A wide variety of diets have emerged over the past 30-40 years, the Hollywood Diet, the Grapefruit Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Weight Watchers Diet, the Slim Fast Diet, the Scarsdale Diet, the Zone Diet, the Macrobiotic Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Master Cleanse Diet, the Lemonade Diet, The Montignac Diet, the Atkins Diet, the Dukan Diet, the Paleo Diet, the Detox Diets, the Alkaline Diet, the Blood Type Diet, etc... but they're all gone or about to go. This is because these diets are not feasible, unsustainable, or often ineffective, and also some of them have serious side effects and harms.

If even one of the diets on this long list were successful, the others would not be needed. In weight loss diets, it is expected to be successful by starting from the same principles and applying similar methods with some changes.

Diet Facts: Why counting calories yields negative consequences?

The common principle and common defect of weight loss diets is calorie restriction. In other words, if calorie intake is reduced by eating less, negative values will remain and weight loss will begin. For example, let's say that the daily calorie requirement is 2000 calories, but 1500 calories are taken per day, according to this calculation, 500 calories per day and 15000 calories per month are taken less and an average of 4-5 kilos is lost! But unfortunately that does not happen!

First of all, achieving 500 calories less every day is a very difficult task, it requires a will of steel. Even if this is achieved, the metabolism is very smart! After a while, it perceives staying at minus calories constantly as hunger and starts to take precautions by slowing down to protect itself.

Diet Facts: Why counting calories yields negative consequences?

Dieters know well, in the first days, the first week, the weight is lost quickly, but then the weight starts to stay the same. The reason for this is that the metabolism adapts itself to the new situation, it slows down to reduce the calorie requirement to 1500 calories taken. To maintain weight loss, it will be necessary to reduce the calorie intake again, that is, it will be necessary to eat 1000 calories instead of 1500 calories, which is not sustainable. Even if it can be sustained, some harmful side effects occur. The most important is muscle loss, part of the weight lost comes from muscle loss. Loss of muscle also causes a slower metabolism. Also, the metabolism, which encounters chronic hunger in this way, takes another precaution and starts to store the food taken as fat, to be used when it encounters such a situation again. In other words, chronic hunger triggers anointment, fattening.

Diet Facts: Why counting calories yields negative consequences?

Diets that rely on calorie restriction and causing chronic hunger are not sustainable. Studies on this subject have shown that the success rate is around 30% at most. Which means only 30 of 100 people who start the diet can reach the target weight, but at the end of a year, at most 30% of these people can maintain the target weight. In other words, at most 9% of 100 people who start dieting, 9 people, can achieve success.

Detailed reading:
How dieting makes some fatter: from a perspective of human body composition autoregulation,
Maintaining Weight Loss,
Simple Strategies for Maintaining Weight Loss

What are the harms of weight loss diets? The first and most important drawback is that weight loss diets cause psychological pressure and stress. The decision to start a diet is similar to the decision to quit smoking, it starts to create stress from the very beginning. According to a well-known scenario, when starting the diet, people go to a dietitian, the recommended food list and menus are taken and examined, the deficiencies are bought from the market, a stock of diet products is formed at home, meanwhile, because the diet will start tomorrow, people go to dinner and the limits are exceeded. And the diet begins, the calorie restriction, which is the common point of all diets, also begins.

Diet Facts: Why counting calories yields negative consequences?

All of these diets recommend eating little and often. In general, weight loss diets include 3 main meals and 3 or 4 snacks. The diet starts with breakfast, small amounts and small sizes satisfy neither the eyes nor the stomach. Begins the waiting for the next snack, then lunch... and that's how people end up with a mental illness! In these diets, people start to build their lives on main and snack meals. As a result, this situation causes serious psychological stress. For those who overdo it, there is the term Orthorexia. Orthorexia is used to mean obsession with what one eats and drinks. The next one is Orthorexia Nervosa disease and it is frequently seen in people who are on a diet.

Detailed reading:
Orthorexia Nervosa: Disorder or Not? Opinions of Health Profess─▒onals

One of the harms of dieting is that the metabolism slows down itself. For this reason, people experience fatigue and sleepiness. The most important of the harmful side effects of these diets is muscle loss and fat metabolism.

If 30 of the 100 people who started the diet continue, the remaining 70 people lose a few kilos in the first few days, maybe a week, and quit the diet. But they keep trying again and again. The most common scenario is that a person starts a diet, loses a few pounds, but gives up on the diet and regains the lost weight, starts another diet, loses 3-5 kilos, quits the diet again, regains the lost weight, and continues this vicious cycle!

Diet Facts: Why counting calories yields negative consequences?

This behavior is called yo-yo dieting, starting with a toy that moves up and down by being wrapped around a rope. It can be said that you can lose weight, you can gain weight, what's wrong with that! However, the yo-yo diet has metabolically very serious and undesirable consequences. It has important effects such as causing insulin resistance, causing inflammation in the body and creating cardiovascular diseases.

Detailed reading:
Dieting and weight cycling as risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases: who is really at risk?

Another important drawback of weight loss diets is that those who design new diets exclude certain food groups from the diet or increase their intake in order to appear different from other diets, which are mostly practices that are not based on a scientific explanation. For this reason, an inadequate and unbalanced diet occurs in many weight loss diets, which causes the formation of various diseases such as gout, gallbladder stones, kidney stones.

Diet Facts: Why counting calories yields negative consequences?

Another troublesome point of weight loss diets is sagging skin, which appears if 10-15 kilos are lost with diet alone. The only way to lose weight in a healthy way is through a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and salads and a lifestyle with regular sports. The benefit of regular exercise, or at least walking, is to preserve or increase muscle mass, thereby stimulating metabolism and accelerating calorie burning.

No weight loss diet can be successful without movement and exercise. Check out the Easy Weight Loss - Autophagy section to learn about the healthiest and easiest ways to lose weight.

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