Can Dieting Make You Fatter?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

This may seem redundant but the relevancy of this topic to our ever increasing obesity problem needs to be reiterated.

"One third of all women and one quarter of all men in the U.S. are on a diet." ~Colorado University

Eating less and exercising more to become "healthy and lean" is the complete opposite of what you want to do if you are overweight with a low body temperature and under-active thyroid gland. I know it seems strange but we have been trying this for years with our 100 calories snacks and diet drinks and everything just seems to be failing.

We know that being able to store fat gives humans a survival advantage when it comes to the meaningful science but for those of us who are just looking to smooth off that college 40lb we are looking for answers to our problems through diet and exercise. Unfortunately few are able to see the dangers of dieting in any form:

“…remember that prolonged dieting (this one [meaning the Atkins diet], low-fat, low-calorie, or a combination) tends to shut down thyroid function. This is usually not a problem with the thyroid gland (therefore blood tests are likely to be normal) but with the liver, which fails to convert T4 into the more active thyroid principle, T3. The diagnosis is made on clinical ground with the presence of fatigue, sluggishness, dry skin, coarse or falling hair, an elevation in cholesterol, or a low body temperature. I ask my patients to take four temperature readings daily before the three meals and near bedtime. If the average of all these temperatures, taken for at least three days, is below 97.8 degrees F (36.5 C), that is usually low enough to point to this form of thyroid problem; lower readings than that are even more convincing.” - Dr. Atkins

Dieting is a stress on the body and at first it is easy and you motivated but then reality sets in and the cravings start. Te more calories you cut and the more will power you try to use, the stronger the cravings will become.

One of the consequences of dieting is that there is the potential for the person to turn what was a minor weight problem into a larger one.(no pun intended)

"A group of researchers working with Traci Mann in UCLA's psychology department. These scientists systematically reviewed many studies of the long-term outcomes of dieting."

"Mann and her colleagues also examined other kinds of studies on the long-term effects of dieting. In 14 studies that lacked control groups, but followed dieters for at least four years after a prescribed reduced-calorie diet, the average early weight loss after dieting was almost 31 pounds. But by the end of the follow-up period, on average the dieters gained back more than 24 of the pounds they had lost. In 10 studies in which nutritional scientists tracked the weight of people who put themselves on any diet of their choosing, the results were even worse. Of the 10 reports, only one described lasting weight loss, two showed no long-term effect, and the remaining seven studies found that dieting led to weight gain in the long run.

That result, of course, is particularly disturbing because it suggests that dieting is somehow monkeying with the body—perhaps by resetting the thermostat that controls how efficiently we utilize food—so as to make the struggle to lose weight all the more difficult. For instance, an excellent 2003 study of almost 15,000 preteens and teens followed for three years clearly showed that the kids who dieted gained more weight than the nondieters. This excess gain could not be explained by initial chunkiness, differences in caloric intake, or in the amount of energy contained in dietary fat." -

Those who start at a young age are much more prone to binge eating and shameful eating in the future. This is not only worrisome but to add on top of that the amount of jogging and useless activities to help lose weight hinder the problem even more. We have all heard the saying " Man I need to run off that chocolate shake I downed last night." That is the nutritional dogma that is being spoon-fed to you ever day and it is absolute nonsense.

Kim Ball Trainer in Long Beach, CA

"Long 'cardio' is a completely healthy form of exercise. It is an important training modality for specific sports and activities. However, if your primary goal is fat loss and overall weight loss, lengthy cardio sessions are completely ineffective. High intensities of strength training and interval training are your most beneficial weapons against fat. "Yes, the purpose of strength training is to build muscle. I won't deny that. However, muscle is the body's fat-burning equipment. It doesn't just sit around in your body all day like an annoying houseguest.

Muscle burns calories 24 hours a day. Therefore, the more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, and the more fat you are able to burn. (And, no, it is NOT easy to put on muscle? ladies, you won't magically turn into a bulky bodybuilder over night!) If we focus on the exercise session itself, strength training doesn't seem to compare to cardiovascular exercise on a fat burning basis. Strength training is usually performed at a higher intensity, so it burns more carbohydrates and less fat. To most, this does not appear to be optimal for fat loss.

However, there is also a phenomenon that is coupled with strength training. Following high-intensity, anaerobic exercise, metabolism increases for an extended amount of time. This increase in metabolism causes extra calories to be burned for up to 48 hours after strength training! The higher the intensity of the strength training session, the longer the metabolism remains elevated, and the more calories burned during exercise recovery."

I'm not saying cardio is bad, it has it's place. Swimming, hiking, walking are good for you in moderation but if you ultimate goal is weight loss and greater insulin sensitivity then strength training is the way to go.

The current formula is this: Eat less and run alot
The correct Formula should be : Eat MORE(nutritious foods), LESS cardio, MORE strength Training

Obviously there are other factors that play into it, such as sleep, controlling stress levels, etc but also remember that dieting is most likely the most harmful thing you can do to your body to lose weight. See my posts on leptin and insulin. Being "thin" can have its drawbacks as well as Paul Campos explains in his Book The Obesity Myth:

"Dieting is perhaps the single greatest predictor of future weight gain.” - Paul Campos

Full Article along with videos can be seen right Mhereee:

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I agree, The point of this article is that eating things like 100 calories snacks/Intentionally trying to force change really doesn't work, especially in a small period of time. That is what my work revolves around, working with the body to achieve health goals, the scale be damned. It's about spontaneous weight lose, automatically eating less calories because your body is running efficiently and requires less. Although the definition of real food varies and I have seen people benefit from regular sugar intake or juices. Like you said moderation. This article is more or less meant for people stuck in the eat less and run a lot mentality
    2572 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    Traditional dieting, yes. However, people who do lose weight do take in fewer calories than their bodies use. The mistake to me is thinking that you have to actually count them to know what this balance is and to reduce it. Humans have been regulating their body weight for thousands of years without knowing what a calorie was. It's called getting legitimately hungry and eating real food (for the most part) to satiety, not being stuffed.

    The older I get and the more solid I get in my eating, the more scared I get to hear of people starting a diet that targets calories and the person having any quick success. That is what starts them off on this terrible cycle. The few successes are trotted out over and over and everyone lauds the ones who pulled it off and others' attempts. Unfortunately, it's rampant here on Spark, too.

    I actually do eat a lot fewer calories over the course of a week than I did two years ago but that is because I hardly ever binge now, as I used to. Eating good, regular meals has helped cure me of the need or even desire to consistently overeat.

    I think moderate amounts of exercise, including resistance and walking or sports, is part of the mix, though I'm only recently getting back into it.

    We don't need the excessive cutting of food and excessive amounts of time exercising. Consistent moderation will go a long way to correct our worst problems.
    2573 days ago
    Yea.. I get that a lot
    2575 days ago
    that's a lot of information to process at once.
    2575 days ago
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