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Why Diets Are a Temporary Solution!
The Dieting Syndrome
Have you ever had a time in your life when you looked and felt great and for some reason you can't seem to get back to that place?
That place becomes your hope, we were there once before so there's no reason we can't get back there again! However we find "reasons" a.k.a. excuses to start next week or we say to ourselves "I'm too busy" or "after my holiday" or "when I'm done this project". As time continues on we are feeling more guilt, less energy and the weight continues to slowly increase. We know what to do... we just need to do it!
Many people think about it for years until finally something triggers and they reach their breaking point. The moment when you finally say "That's it! I'm going to do this!" The trigger could be a wedding in the coming year, the scale has reached the highest number that you've ever seen before, or your clothes are getting too tight, or maybe even health complications. Your doctor has informed you that weight loss is your prescription. That moment is when we decide to get back to that place of hope where we once were years before. You have done it before so you know you can do it again.
You dive right in, with confidence that you will get back to where you once were. You get through day one... not too bad, you struggle on day two, then day three hits and life happens. You say to yourself, "I'll start again tomorrow" When tomorrow comes the distractions arise and you get frustrated and just accept the fact that you don't know what to do and you turn to the quick fix... the easiest looking diet that crosses your path. Maybe you heard someone talk about it or you saw it on the internet or T.V.
People use diets in their moments of frustration and desperation. At this point we are very vulnerable because our sense of reason is at it's lowest point and you become overwhelmed and will do anything to alleviate the pain.
What Diets Have You Tried in the Past?
You go on whatever diet promises you that you will drop weight through depriving yourself even if it lacks common sense. Whatever it takes to get quick results.
Any of those types of diets will give you results initially, relieving some of your frustration however once you return back to your regular eating habits the weight you lost returns as quickly as you lost it, and usually adding a little extra! Is there anything in life that can be successful with a quick fix? Can a business have long term success without a plan? or a relationship without constant practice of communication? Your health is NO different. Anything in life that we do for long term satisfaction and results take hard work, commitment and a plan to follow.
Your first challenge is to let go of the "dieting" mentality. Also let go of the past and accept where you are at now, and move forward. What worked for you in the past is exactly that, in the past.
"If you live in the past, your future is already determined" - Anonymous.
You need to keep in mind that your hormones, genetics, lifestyle, profession and the environment around you is continually changing. So if you are ready to let go of the past and open your mind your possibilities are endless! Let's start with understanding how the body really works. Be prepared for your "AHA!" moment.
Physiological reasons diets fail you.
There are two philosophies in nutrition; dieting and blood-sugar stabilization. One we refer to as the Yo-Yo Syndrome (the repetitive cycle of weight loss followed by weight gain) The other creates internal hormonal balance with in your body that kick starts your metabolism so that your body burns stored fat.
The dieting philosophy is focused on restriction and deprivation of calories and/or carbohydrates. It uses restrictions to lose weight and creates a deficit in your nutrition. The thought process behind this philosophy is if you are consuming 1500 calories per day but are burning 2000 calories you are creating a 500 calorie deficit which will contribute to weight loss. This is where the term "calories in versus calories out" comes from. Unfortunately when you deprive your body in this way you will always reach a plateau. Not only will the calorie deprivation cause your body to burn fat but it will also cause your body to burn muscle. this negative effect essentially results in your metabolism slowing down because the less muscle you have the fewer calories you burn.
Most people will discontinue their "diet" once they've reached their plateau and resume life by eating the way they were eating before they started the diet, however now they have less muscle so the reality is their metabolism is slower. Most people will naturally regain the weight they lost but this time will gain more body fat because they have reduced their muscle mass.
This vicious cycle can be referred to as the "yo yo syndrome" Your weight goes up and down like a yo-yo and most times you gain more weight back from the previous round. Each time you put yourself through this process you are in actual fact slowing down your metabolism, which explains why over the years as you get older people complain that their age is causing their metabolic rate to slow down.
The TRUTH is that dieting is based on incorrect physiology and guarantees long term failure. If you go back to the root of physiology and understand how the body was designed to be fed to create energy, you will understand the importance of consistent, complete, balanced nutrition. So let's go back to the beginning...
Sugar - Your Body's Fuel
Did you know that glucose (sugar) fuels our nervous system? It's the fuel for our body and creates our body's energy source called ATP (adenosine triphospate) Every movement you make comes from this energy source. Blood sugar is measured in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood. To keep it simple all you need to remember is if you keep your blood sugar between 80 and 120 mg/dl - your blood sugar will be stable and your body will NOT be able to store fat OR burn muscle!
Start from the beginning
When a baby is born one of the first things that the nurses do is test their blood sugar. Their survival depends on their blood sugar being within the normal range. In the first few hours of life they recommend that babies start nursing either with breast milk or formula (a combination of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) The nurses educate on the importance of meal frequency and that they should eat every 3 hours. The first year in a baby's life the focus is on proper nutrition. So why do they not teach this simple concept for adult nutrition? Where did this information become so skewed or lost? How did we gravitate to eating 3 square meals a day?
The workforce created the 3 square meals a day concept. It became a lifestyle shift, not a physiological shift. Let's go back to the root of physiology, understanding how the body works.
How The Body Works
It's important to understand that your body naturally strives to maintain a balance internally called "homeostasis". You have the choice to effectively take care of your body with positive choices or not take care of your body and let it balance itself. Any time you let the body take care of itself your blood sugar will rise and drop with the efforts to create a continual balance and it does this by releasing hormones into your bloodstream. Your endocrine system is made up of a number of glands that produce these hormones:
1. Thyroid gland (your metabolism)
2. Adrenal gland (your energy)
3. Pancreas (blood sugar regulator)
The two main hormones that are released in the pancreas are insulin & glucagon. Insulin's purpose is to lower the blood sugar and glucagon is to raise the blood sugar. So every time you skip a meal your blood sugar will drop (low blood sugar) and your body will naturally over release glucagon which causes the breakdown of stored glucose and amino acids (muscle) to fuel your body. Basically your body starts to burn your muscle.
Every time you over eat because you are "starving" your blood sugar will spike and your pancreas will over release insulin which will trigger your body to go into storage mode and will store fat to get the blood sugar back in balance.
3 Factors in Stabilizing your Blood Sugar
- Meal Intervals: Your body needs to be fed consistently, it's a "fuel as it goes" machine. You need to eat within an hour upon waking and every 3-4 hours up until an hour before bed. (That's how we started life... as a baby, the way the body was meant to be fed)
- Nutrient Ratios: There are 3 nutrients that are essential for survival. Protein (amino acids), Fat (fatty acids) and Carbohydrates (glucose) All 3 combined (just like breast milk) in the correct ratio's will provide the body with the correct formula to maintain stable blood sugar, homeostasis, it's ultimate goal.
- Calories Per meal: The biggest mistake made is calories per day, but it's calories per MEAL that are important. Your body processes food at once and based on each individual factors. The important thing about the quantity of food per meal is that you are ready to eat at each meal (not starving) and that you eat until you are satisfied (not full) and then you are ready to eat again in about 3-4 hours again.
Permenantly Acheive your Health Goals
What separates nutrition from dieting is this; when you create internal balance It is possible to reach your health goals permanently. Dieting creates imbalance and wreaks havoc in your body creating more problems and essentially burns your muscle, which results in a slower metabolism.
Many health challenges like diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, Irritable Bowel etc. can be addressed with correct nutrition.
When you consistently create an unbalanced environment your body strives for through incorrect eating practices, it generates health challenges followed with inflammation, and with inflammation comes aches and pains. When you create homeostasis internally by stabilizing your blood sugar, your body will release whatever it does not need, like stored fat, toxins, excess sodium. It optimizes cell reproduction, energy, sleep, focus, stress management and lean body mass! (Muscle)
So release yourself of the "dieting" mentality and start with feeding your body the way it was meant to be fed. Every 3 hours from the moment you wake up to within an hour of going to sleep. Each meal consisting of 1/3 protein, 1/3 fat, 1/3, carbohydrates. The higher the quality of food the faster the results. It's time to say goodbye to processed fatty foods and hello to good quality nutrition. One of the rewards when you feed your body the way it was designed to be fed is you will have less cravings and more energy!
Whether you believe it's possible, or you believe it's not possible, you are right!