The Dieting Cycle

How much weight have you gained and lost in a lifetime?  Have you tried to lose 5 or 10 pounds and been unable to keep it off?  Have you tried various diets such as the Atkins, the Zone, or a low carb diet only to lose and then regain? You may be caught in the dieting cycle.

WHy so many diets?

Americans are obsessed with thinness. Society has placed a mythical aura around a few with the “ideal” body type – tall, thin, broad shoulders, and beautiful. Media hype has urged us to “get in shape;” “thin is beautiful;” and “fat is ugly.”  The truth is only one in 10,000 women has the idealized body type. Reality versus media portrayal causes great dissatisfaction with ourselves and our bodies and leads to unnecessary dieting. Not only are women affected, but men, too, are buying into the values of youth and virility.

Ways to Lose Weight

Weight can be lost on any diet – high protein; low fat; low carbohydrate; high carbohydrate; as long as calories taken in are less than energy needs. Fasting, eating a very low calorie diet, using appetite suppressants, or herbal preparations, or going on a fad diet may result in very quick weight loss during the first week or two.

What’s really lost when we diet

Many people lose 3-7 pounds in the first week of dieting, mainly due to water and muscle tissue losses, with relatively little fat lost. Metabolism slows as muscle mass is decreased and the body tries to reserve calories, making it harder than ever to lose weight, especially body fat.

Weight Cycling

Most of us cannot diet more than a few days or weeks, as our bodies’ natural urges to eat override the diet.  An instinctive response to starvation (the diet) is to overeat or even binge eat.  We feel out-of-control, yet our behavior is a normal reaction to the starvation the body has endured, and to the deprivation we feel from restricting certain foods and calories.  Weight returns and most of the regain is as fat. Body composition changes because of depletion of muscle mass and the increase of fat mass.  Metabolism slows and weight gain is easier, setting up the gain-lose cycle.  The long-term effect of dieting on body composition is “sarcopenia” and  “sarcopenic obesity.”  Sarcopenic obesity increases our risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, of falling and breaking bones, especially when older, and morbidity.

Dieting Damages Self Esteem

Diets can lead to negative psychological effects as well as those physical. As the dieting cycle continues, our self-esteem suffers as we lose weight only to regain it. We feel we have failed, although our bodies have responded naturally. Society furthers reinforces our poor outlook as all but the very leanest people are often viewed as lacking willpower and being lazy. Negative self-esteem often leads to further problems, such as eating to cope with feelings of stress over our “failure.”  We often become demoralized and give up or even outright rebel against a society that tells us we should be thin and eat more as a result.

are most dIEts necessary?

“Metabolic fitness,” a better measure of physical health than weight, means blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, and other metabolic parameters are within normal limits. Being thin does not guarantee health. In fact, many experts are recommending the body mass index (BMI) no longer be used as a measure of health. Dissatisfaction with our weight, which leads to unnecessary dieting, is in part, a result of societal pressures rather than a necessity for health.

 What Can I Do?

Confront and dispel the American body image myth by refusing to let the media dictate your weight. Find your own healthy weight by giving up dieting, eating healthily, and participating in regular physical activity. Examine your own thoughts and attitudes towards body fat. Be mindful of how your behaviors affect your health and the health of those around you. 

Carol will help you

  • Become aware of how your underlying beliefs and attitudes affect your food choices and physical activity patterns
  • Learn how to choose healthful foods based on nutrition facts, not fiction
  • Find the joy in movement
  • Take charge of your health as an informed consumer through education on human physiology
  • Improve your self image and self esteem
  • Help you set priorities so you can achieve your goals
  • Develop a Healthy, Peaceful Relationship with Food and Physical Activity

No special foods to buy.  No vitamins, minerals, or herbal supplements to purchase. No counting points.  No weighing or measuring.  Learn mindful, intuitive eating!  Find the joy in physical activity!  Call Carol now at 843-670-1997 to start your new life with the non-diet, lifestyle approach for permanent and healthful results!