Dieting can make you fatter!

dieting-cycleI have said this before, but I always seem to end up in similar discussions where people simply do not understand because of effective media brainwashing. 

The conventional approach to dieting is a disaster. There are plenty of ‘weight loss’ programmes out there that will produce rapid weight loss. This is not sustainable and certainly not healthy. Why? Because it usually is as a result of dehydration and loss of muscle tissue, rather than the body fat. 


70% of the body is water. It is, therefore easy to design a dehydration diet that will result in a loss of 10lb of water within several days, but this is certainly not healthy and has nothing to do with real fat loss. 

Low Calorie diets

This is the traditional method of weight management: the promise of quick results and a lifetime of yo-yo dieting. there is usually a lot of ‘mental preparation’ as the programme prepares you for overcoming the most powerful of natural instincts: to eat. You will feel hungry, nauseous, irritable, fatigued.. sound familiar? These are all symptoms of hypoglycaemia – cause by low blood sugar. 

Fat loss doesn’t have to be like this: YES, you heard me!

usually during low fat diets people will lose weight, along with an element of body fat, but the weight usually creeps back on. 

Why don’t ‘diets’ work? 

fat-v-muscleFirst you will lose body fat, due to the huge calorie deficit. You will also lose a significant amount of muscle mass. 

of a 2lb weight loss per week, 30-40% will be muscle. This muscle is lost because there is simply insufficient carbohydrate in the diet to fulfil the needs of the body, therefore leaving it no choice but to break down muscle protein to convert into glucose for energy. 

When I myself maintained a low fat ‘diet’ whilst starting to train for triathlons as well, my times began to slow down, I was always tired, I couldn’t keep up the training load and eventually became ill, as the thyroid began to fail (because there was not enough fat in my diet). When I ate a more balanced healthy diet that was not low calorie, my training improved, my thyroid started to work and I was still losing weight. 

Resuming ‘normal’ eating

What will happen? Due to the significant muscle loss, the metabolic rate will have dropped. for example, now instead of needing 2500 calories to maintain body mass, the body will only need 2000 calories. 

That means that the person will be consuming extra calories that the body no longer needs. this excess energy will be stored as fat. 3500 extra calories eaten per week equates to around an extra 1lb of fat store per week. 

Another factor to consider

A very low fat diet will make the body create more lipoproteins. They are responsible for unloading dietary fats into fat cells. After only a few days on a low fat diet our bodies will be stimulated to over produce Lipoproteins, so that when the perceived ‘famine’ is over, the body will be super efficient at storing excess food as body fat. In that way, if the famine returns, the body will greater fat stores for longer survival.

Effective ways of reducing body fat 

  • Exercise programme to lose fat without losing muscle. Aerobic exercise and resistance training is ideal, and it needs to be part of your life. 
  • Raising the heart rate to 60-80% of maximum for more than 20 minutes, at least three times a week. Metabolic rate is also increased for 24 hours after exercise, helping to burn extra calories which is crucial to maintain weight loss. Aerobic level exercise burns body fat, whereas if you work too hard, that will burn carbohydrate (what you ate today) and bypasses the body fat stores. 
  • Good nutrition that focusses on health. A diet that contains whole foods, raw foods, fresh vegetables and fruit. 

One Comment on “Dieting can make you fatter!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: