Cutting calories is depressing, fact!
We do it because of the belief that it will lead to long-term weight loss and then happiness. There are two things here that don’t sit well with me. As a nutrition and weight management advisor I feel the need to talk about them!
- There is growing evidence that diet failure is the norm, we need to take notice of that.
- What you see in the mirror is not what will make you happy unless you like what is under your skin.
Most dieters will have set the same weight loss goal this year that they did last year, and the year before, and the year before that ……… This does not mean they should feel like failures. It simple means it is time to find a different way.
I would love to tell you my secret to having a slim figure, except that I don’t have one (a secret that is). I am very active but so are many much heavier people than me. Genetics play a huge role, no one can see genes so assumptions are often made which are unfair and more often than not untrue. E.g. I eat cake and drink alcohol, many of my larger friends eat and drink a lot less than I do.
As long as a balance is achieved then healthy eating is far from dieting.
Many heavy people wouldn’t be lean even if they ate the same foods in the same quantities as I do. Their bodies are able to run on fewer calories which sounds like a good thing but is only useful during famine!
What it does mean is that after eating the same foods and using that energy to run the systems of their body, they have more calories left over to store as fat. To actually lose weight, they have to eat less food than their slimmer counterpart. There is worse to come! Once they start to lose weight their metabolism changes so that they need to eat even less than that to keep losing weight.
I told you cutting calories is depressing!
Dieting causes neurological changes.
If you are on a diet you are more likely to notice food than before dieting, and once you notice it, these changes make it hard to stop thinking about it. Sadly these foods are not usually vegetables and they shout “eat me!”
Another diet-induced neurological change makes food not only taste better, but also causes food to give a bigger rush of the reward hormone dopamine. That’s the same hormone that is released when addicts use their drugs. If you are not on a diet then you don’t get that same rush from food.
Feeling full when on a diet can be an uphill battle because dieting also changes hormones.
Levels of the so-called satiety hormone leptin go down, which means that now it takes more food than before to feel full. As you can imagine, this is not good news.
Here is the good news 😊
Exercise and a balanced diet full of filling foods such as eggs, baked potatoes, Greek yoghurt and other such foods which are often eliminated in ‘diets’ can give long-term weight loss a real shot. So if you are on another round of elimination, stop and think of your weight history. Time to find a new and more energising way?
I hope this blog has been informative and I am only too happy to chat with anyone who has questions about it or would like more advice on this subject.