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Why diets don't work

Most diets expect us to deprive our bodies of calories or specific food groups such as fats and carbohydrates. This leads to rapid weight loss but it also results in the loss of up to 30% of muscle mass. When normal eating is resumed weight is gained more quickly than ever.

Why does this happen?

When you diet your brain goes into "storage mode" because it gets the message that food is scarce or that there is a shortage of energy.

The brain directs the body to slow down its energy output by reducing the rate of metabolism.

The body produces more enzymes that convert carbohydrate into fat, thus becoming more efficient at storing food for the future.

Finally, the body starts to burn muscle for energy. People suffering from anorexia have a layer of fat all over their bodies but they have burnt most of their muscle tissue. As muscle is nearly 3 times heavier than fat, this can result in rapid weight loss but leads to serious problems in the future.

Because muscle is lost during a diet there is less active muscle tissue at the end of the diet to burn the daily intake of food. Consequently, most people who diet find that within a few months of stopping their diet they are heavier than they were before they started.

Decreased muscle mass will result in visible fat on our bodies. Muscles that are"out of shape" lose their ability to respond to insulin resulting in adverse blood sugar levels and an increased desire to eat. Increasing lean muscle mass will alleviate this problem.


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