Blog - My Diet
Everywhere we turn there’s a new solution or quick fix remedy to losing weight and being healthy. Sometimes the advice is of sound scientific reasoning and will get people the results they truly desire. Unfortunately there is a lot of advice which is not correct, we’re not in the business of suggesting the reasons for the incorrect advice. All we know is that it isn’t right. Many fad diets do indeed initially achieve the desired results, the classic being weight loss. The prevalent scenario which results from participating in fad diets is once someone has finished the diet they return back to living their “normal” life. Over a couple of months they are shocked to realise they are heavier/bigger than when they initially started their diet. Obviously the natural thing to do then is to hop back on said diet and lose the weight. Entering a perpetual cycle of ‘yo-yoing’ in weight.
The reason this yo-yoing affect occurs is because a lot of fad diets place your body in to a severe calorie deficit. A lot of the time participants are effectively starving themselves. During this process, you are of course going to lose weight because your body is trying to survive by using all the sources of energy it has, glycogen from the muscles and liver and fat stores. What happens then is the body adapts to survive on this reduced intake of calories, needless to say the metabolism slows down. This means the bodily processes have slowed down or possibly stopped; not a good thing, no matter how you look at it.
Now the body is getting by on the limited energy its getting. By the end, the individual is craving all sorts of foods but nonetheless is delighted to reach their goal weight. The elation experienced is tremendous and a real sense of achievement is felt. Rightfully so, it’s been hard work.
Now without getting too scientific, let’s say someone has been strictly consuming 500 calories a day when their body’s requirement is 2000 calories per day. After 6 weeks of following this diet they’ve reached their goal. They return to eating their 2000 calories per day. Due to the body’s adaptation to surviving on 500 calories per day the body doesn’t know what to do with new 1500 calories its receiving.
We have inbuilt systems to help survive during different situations, one of these situations is an eventuality of food not being readily available. What our bodies do in preparation for such an occurrence is convert any additional energy we eat into fat stores, so that when the time comes we have it there. Unfortunately our body has no limit on this process. Thus those additional 1500 calories being eaten are stored as fat. Please note those figures are plucked from thin air and there are several other factors to be considered, however this is a simplified explanation of why the ‘yo-yoing effect’ occurs.
A popular type of diet which is in constant circulation is low carb/high protein diets. As you may have read in previous blogs, carbs are essential as the body’s main energy source, the brain is also dependant on glucose to function. Similarly protein is essential in maintaining the functions of the body as well as growth and repair. Too much protein combined with not enough carbs is however a concoction for trouble. Too much protein causes levels of ammonia to increase in the blood as a direct result of the nitrogen removal process. Ammonia is severely toxic and must be converted to urea and excreted from the body by the kidneys. This may compromise the body’s fluid balance, further compounded by the fact that a lack of carbs being eaten causes reduced fluid retention. Thus potentially leading to dehydration as well as a strain on the kidneys.
Continued excessive protein intake may also lead to conditions such as osteoporosis, minerals such as calcium are required to neutralise the acidity of the blood resulting from chemical reactions induced from excessive protein intake. When blood stores are depleted these minerals are drawn from the bones, if this process is continued it may lead to the bones becoming brittle. Remaining calcium deposits from the breakdown process remain in the blood and may be deposited around joints or in arteries giving rise to arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
The simple fact of the matter is that the only real solution is to do it properly in the first place. I put it to you that if you look around at the people you know and identify the individuals who are often referring to the different fad diets they do throughout the year, and think to yourself; have they achieved what they set out to? Are they happier? Now compare them to the friends, family and acquaintances you know that have not followed a fad diet. Instead they have made a lifestyle choice to consciously eat healthier and get the right amount of calories each day. In my experience they are the ones who are in a ‘place’ they want. Whether it’s because they are pleased with what they have achieved or whether it’s because they don’t have to periodically deal with the consequences of crash dieting such as tiredness and a general lack energy; or, they’re experiencing the positive results of living healthily such as increased energy, less illness’, feeling/being fitter, mentally sharper; the bottom line is, they are simply happier.
If you wish to find out what constitutes a healthy, balance diet check out What is a Balanced Diet?; Or subscribe to the She Fitness newsletter. It’s free and provides valuable information regarding health, fitness and wellbeing.
Our specialists can tailor an individualised nutrition plan for you, which will be combined with an ongoing exercise plan, contact Mark or Richie for more information.
Thanks for reading, have a great day!