A traditional diet is one that limits food consumption as a remedy to obesity. If your diet has you counting calories, points or eating processed meals for weight loss, it is what I call a traditional diet. The biggest problem is that weight gain is a hormonal problem, not a caloric problem. It is what you eat, not how much you eat that is causing the problem. Let’s look at what happens when you try to lose weight their way.
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Essentially what you are doing by restricting the amount of food you eat is literally starving yourself slowly. It is somewhat ironic that no weight loss plan would tell you to just stop eating as a strategy because it would seem reckless, irresponsible and mostly impossible. However these plans have the same effect, it just happens more slowly. We can imagine a situation that would fast forward the process to better understand what occurs.
Imagine you are on cruise ship, standing at the rail when a big wave knocks you overboard. By some miracle, that wave sweeps you safely to a small, uninhabited island. The good news is, first you are safe and second that you find a spring fed pond of clean fresh water on the island, the bad news is you can find nothing at all to eat. With a good water supply you can avoid dehydration and stay alive using your stored energy (fat) for some time. Yes, you will lose weight and Yes, you will be hungry, very hungry.
Now suppose you are on the island for the right amount of time to reach your “goal” weight when rescuers find you. Do you think you will just stay at your new weight?
Here is some of what would have happened.
In response to recognition that the energy supply has been interrupted, your body switches to conservation mode. Your metabolism slows and your instincts urge you to rest. Like a bear hibernating through winter when food is scarce, you are programmed this way as part of your survival instinct. If your plan involves adding exercise, this instinct will obviously make that more difficult.
In the complete absence of food, your body will become better able to access and use the energy stored in the fat cells. In another irony, when you starve yourself slowly on a conventional diet, you do not have this effect to the same degree. Since there is some food coming in, your body does not switch completely to a starvation response, but does still get that instinct to conserve energy.
Your metabolism slows to make what energy you have last. Think of a race car driver without enough gas to finish the race. He or she will go slower, coast more and even switch the engine off and on to make the gas last. This is similar to what your body does, it does what it can to survive as long as it can. A slowed metabolism over an extended period can permanently slow the metabolism as has been reported in a number of “Biggest Loser” contestants who experienced an extreme calorie deficit. Your body learns to make do with less permanently.
If you have been on a traditional diet, you have probably experienced the following. You follow the plan perfectly and lost 3 pounds per week for the first couple weeks. Then, even though you continue to follow the plan, your weekly weight loss diminishes. You might lose only one pound or no pounds. You might even gain a little back. Anyone who has followed a plan like this knows the results slow dramatically over time.
This in itself proves that the theory of calories in versus calories out equals net weight loss or gain is wrong! If the amount of calories consumed is less than the energy used, the results would be the same all the time. A minus B equals C always. It does not sometimes equal D or E.
Our bodies are amazing in their ability to adapt in order to insure survival. However while adapting to a restricted food supply makes the body highly efficient at utilizing energy, this adaptation makes it more difficult to lose weight and to maintain that weight loss. If the metabolism has been permanently slowed, the only way to keep the weight off may be to continue in some degree of constant starvation. Even if you have the will to sustain this, sooner or later this perpetual state of starvation is likely lead to other problems through nutritional deficiencies.
Think back to being rescued from that island, what will happen when you start eating again? Of course you will quickly begin to regain that weight you lost. That’s what happens when you get “off” your diet. As a defense to a recurrence of starvation, your body is instinctively driven to regain the weight loss and a little more to be prepared if it should happen again. Not only do most people (about 95% of dieters) fail to keep off the weight lost, many will regain the weight plus a little more, just in case.
With the Fat Facts Plan, none of this happens. Starvation is not part of our strategy and you never have to be hungry. Effective long term weight loss and optimal health depend on giving your body the nutrition it can utilize and eliminating those foods that are causing your weight and health issues. Nature built us (and every other life form) to survive and thrive. Survival of the species is the most powerful force in nature. Clearly nature did not intend for us to develop diabetes or heart disease or any other nutritional disease since that is a threat to the survival of our species. To assume these serious health issues are “normal” or a natural part of aging is to assume nature made a mistake. Not likely! We made the mistake and it is our diets.