Dieting Adds Pounds


| 3 Comments
There has been much debate on different diets and which work best and how. There is the Atkin's diet, the South Beach diet, the Dukan diet, and many more. The problem is, these diets may help us shed a few pounds in the short run, but studies have shown that dieting may make us fatter in the long run. Dieting Help

New evidence shows that slicing calories alters your brain and your metabolism, causing your body to store more fat when you eat. It also makes your mind go from craving food, to obsessing over it. 

Researchers took "50 obese men and women, and coached them through eight weeks of an extreme 500-to-550-calories-a-day diet (a quarter of the normal intake for women)." Dieting or Starving. "At the end, the dieters lost an average of 30lb. Proietto's team then spent a year giving them counselling support to stick to healthy eating habits. But during this time, the dieters regained an average of 11lb. They also reported feeling far hungrier and more preoccupied with food than before losing weight."

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Tests on the dieters showed that hormones were working extremely hard, telling the body that it was starving and needed to eat in order to store more fat. "Their levels of an appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin, were about 20 per cent higher than at the start of the study. Meanwhile their levels of an appetite suppressing hormone, peptide YY, were unusually low."  

Now the correlation between the ghrelin increase at the end of the study may not have been due to the previous strain of dieting because this was an observational study and no variables were taken out. This study could have been much more effective if a variable such as exercise been taken into account. The foods eaten also should have been recorded because they may not have been getting all of their needed nutrients.

The results of the study are due to the evolution and survival of the human race. Humans are able to store much more fat than most other animals when compared pound for pound. Keeping that in mind, dieters need to realize that starving oneself only helps in the short run, but hurts in the long run. Plus there are many other negative effects of too much calorie cutting such as depression, mood swings, and weak immune system as a result of malnutrition.

I have watched as my uncle has struggled with his weight over the years. From being a fit, star wrestler in his younger years, to being over 260lbs. His weight has fluctuated tremendously. He recently put on 20 more pounds after slimming down again. In his early struggles he tried to just diet and my parents said the weight would come back in a few months. Now, when he has combined healthy eating and regular exercise it tends to stay off longer, but when he feels content and stops exercising regularly, he starts to put the weight back on. 

To summarize, dieting can end up hurting the body more than helping. The only way to safely lose weight is to exercise regularly and eat healthy (in moderation). If you have any suggestions as to how this study could have been more properly conducted or any other additional information on dieting, inform me in the comments section.

3 Comments

Zach, I think you did great with this article! I actually agree with what you're saying. All through out high school my girlfriends OBSESSED over losing weight before prom. However, all they seemed to be doing was taking water pills, diet pills, or eating celery instead of a regular meal. Me, on the other hand, have always been an active dancer and cheerleader therefore I feel the need to have healthy meals. A well balanced meal highlighting most areas of the food pyramid is what I have grown up knowing is "healthy". So I agree with your frustration! People are far too lazy to hit the gym to lose weight and instead snack on little to no food which CANNOT be healthy for an individual. I researched what exactly helps one be healthy. Gaiam Life provided me with these tips:

1) Think positive
2) Eat your veggies!
3) Create an ideal meal plan
4) Exercise daily!
5) Good night's sleep

I agree with these tips and may even use them more often now that I find myself getting lazy in college as well. I enjoyed your article and the experiment you included which seemed to have proven your theory right! Good job, if you'd like to read more on where I got these tips, visit this website!
http://life.gaiam.com/article/15-easy-ways-be-healthier

I thought the topic of your blog was very interesting, since most articles or posts about dieting are usually talking about how it can be helpful rather than harmful. However, speaking from personal experience dieting can be exactly how you described. Constantly restricting foods messes with not only your metabolism but your mental state, causing you to feel as though you can't eat foods you like and makes food the enemy. After dealing with things like this, I came across the intuitive eating method, which focuses on listening to your body, eating when you are hungry, stopping when you are full and while never restricting what you eat, to still be mindful of healthy and unhealthy foods. This article from the Huffington Post goes on to further discuss the negative effects of constant dieting and how it breeds self-doubt in people who struggle maintaining a certain weight. You can read more about the topic here, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelle-may-md/yoyo-dieting_b_1887283.html.

I agree that dieting may not necessarily be the most effective way to lose weight the right way. That being said, if someone wants to shed pounds obviously they will have to alter their eating habits and monitor themselves more closely. However, I think the more affective approach is a combination of diet and exercise rather than just focusing on one. Even one hour of exercise every day can have an absolutely huge impact on someone trying to shed pounds. There are plenty of articles out there that even list the best exercises to try to help lose weight (http://allwomenstalk.com/10-top-exercises-to-lose-weight). Also, I believe dieting can affect mental health as well as the dieter may soon become obsessed with it and all that they can think about. On the contrary, not only does exercise help shed calories but it is a great way to relieve stress!

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