By Naomi Kent
Did you know that conventional dieting methods are actually counterproductive to the proper functioning of your metabolism, and that dieting is detrimental to any weight loss effort? Unfortunately, the diet industry thrives on convincing consumers that in order to lose weight, people need spend their hard earned cash and deprive themselves in some shape or form.
First, let’s examine what dieting really is. The meaning of the word diet has changed over the last century. Originally, the word diet had nothing to do with deprivation, but rather was defined as a person’s habitual food intake. Today, the word diet has taken on a whole new meaning, and is equated with eating and drinking sparingly, or following strict rules in order to lose weight.
If dieting really worked, wouldn’t we all be thin, fit and happy after one diet?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that eating and drinking sparingly will cause you to drop pounds – initially. The problem is that extreme or radical diets often throw the human metabolism into a state of shock, in which it takes years to recover. When the body is deprived of fuel, its inherent reaction is to conserve every ounce of energy in a time of famine.
In essence, this means the body trains itself to retain fat, because the body assumes there will be a famine ahead. As soon as the person tries to eat normally, or even before the diet regime is completed, the person will end up with a metabolism that is trained to conserve as much fat as possible in order to survive. This is the reason that there are so many frustrated overweight people who, no matter how many times they diet, have to struggle so hard to keep the weight from coming back. It is a vicious cycle that keeps the diet industry booming.
Fad diets are formulated for the consumer to achieve a “temporary” success, followed by the weight being regained. The consumer is then left desperate to find another quick fix. It’s frustrating to see so many thin, fit people chowing down while never gaining a ounce, but the reason they are able to do this, is because they don’t repeatedly slow down their metabolisms through deprivation, or ridiculous diet regimens. Essentially, fit people have metabolisms that have kicked into high gear from proper nutrition and exercise.
If you’ve been dieting for years and have a slow metabolism, don’t fret, there is still hope. By following a balanced diet, learning proper portion size and incorporating some regular exercise into your life, you can retrain your metabolism to become an efficient, energy burning machine.