How many times have you started a diet in your life? Probably a lot more than just once. If you want to lose weight, you have to do it the right way. I’ll tell you right now: Skipping meals or following an extremely low-calorie diet is not in any way, shape, or form the answer for losing any amount of weight. Extreme calorie deprivation only sets you up for yo-yo dieting, or “weight cycling.” Your weight will continue to go up and down for the rest of your life. If you want permanent weight loss, then listen to me.
The lack of understanding about the right way to lose weight can set people up for big-time failure. Even if you do have initial success on one of these extreme diets, the toll it takes on your body is not at all worth it. Extreme diets that promise big weight loss in a short amount of time cut out macronutrients like carbs and fats — which is horrible for your hormone balance and your metabolism.
Why are you in this pattern of fasting, then slipping up and bingeing, then fasting again? Maybe you desperately want to lose weight for a special occasion and figure that only a couple of weeks at 800 calories a day can give you results you want. And maybe it does…but then what happens when you go back to a normal eating pattern? Simply put, you’re toast. While you weren’t taking in enough calories, your levels of T3, the thyroid hormone that boosts your metabolism, plummeted and you slowed down your metabolism. Also, your response to insulin has taken a hit, so instead of glucose entering your cells, where it can be used for energy, your body lets it roam around in your blood, where it can cause trouble. Your sensitivity to leptin (which regulates appetite) is also reduced, so you’re never quite sure when to say, “Enough!” at the table. Plus, the hormone that tells your brain you’re starving, called ghrelin, shoots higher than ever. That is just the beginning of your problems. When you inevitably start gaining back weight, you start the cycle of yo-yo dieting all over again. It gets more and more frustrating every time you do it.
It’s time to end this vicious cycle, and the way to do that is not to “diet” but rather to make a lifestyle change. Shift your thinking from merely “cutting back” to simply eating proper portions of the right foods. Whole, nutritious foods will repair, nourish, and support every cell so that your body will work for you and not against you. Be good to your body and it will be good to you!
* From Jillian Michaels