Most diets for weight loss never work.
You find an diet for weight loss that promises fast and easy weight loss. You are inspired, somewhat nervous to start, because you will lose weight and your life will change. You enjoy the very though of new you, slimmer, sexier, irresistible. So proud of yourself and so successful. You are full of determination:
“THIS TIME, ALL WILL BE DIFFERENT. I will do it this time!”
You start the diet, and… in most cases, not much happens. Your bitter disappointment is aggravated by the thought that the diet for weight loss is, in fact, clever and efficient, if people recommend it. It was only you, you who is guilty of not following it, not starving enough, not smart enough to do everything correctly, AGAIN. You promised! And failed.
But it was not you.
It was the diet. Some tools just don’t work.
Most diets never work.
If the diet for weight loss is mild, you can follow it longer and lose some weight.
If the diet is strict, you most probably will not endure it for long, but you will lose some weight.
Sometimes, strict diets work even better than mild diets, because mild diet for weight loss followed for a long time (more than 2 weeks) always causes a weight loss plateau.
But most diets have almost no effect.
People believe that diet for weight loss is a one-time action, like, you had excessive weight accumulated. You follow a diet for a week, two, or three, and lose this excessive weight. After that weight is lost, you come back to your previous nutrition mode, and live further without the problem of excessive weight at all, at least for several years.
However, diets do not work this way.
The reality is that your circumstances, way of life, and nutrition mode kept you gaining weight, for years. You find a diet for weight loss you believe is efficient, and follow it for some time. You manage to lose some weight and expect the effect to last. But obviously, you are not going to follow this diet for years, right? It was planned only for two weeks! So after two weeks, you come back to your previous lifestyle and nutrition, and guess what… you start accumulating weight back from day 1.
So after two weeks, you come back to your previous lifestyle and nutrition, and guess what… you start accumulating weight back from day 1.
Why Diets Never Work The Way We Expect Them To?
The reason why it happens is that most diets – 99% of diets – work by creating calorie deficit. That is, following this diet for weight loss, you consume less calories than you burn, and the body starts to use its own fat to compensate the difference. However, very soon our smart animal body understands that this period of hunger (calorie deficit) may last longer than it expected, and starts to decrease the amount of calories it burns, daily. The full mechanism how and why it happens is described here in detail.
The end result is the same – you gain weight back.
If you really liked the way you looked while slimmer, you tell yourself: well, I have managed this problem before, I’ll do that again and this time will keep the result. And you enter the enchanted cycle of yo-yo dieting, when with each time after following a diet, you gain even more weight than you had before the diet; the exact mechanism of it is described here.
The bottom line is, 99% of diets never work as we expect them to – we either lose weight too slow, or we lose less weight than we planned; and the long-lasting result is almost never achieved.
There are totally sensible reasons for that. Most diets:
- create calorie deficit, which leads to weight loss plateau
- lead to yo-yo dieting because the effect does not last after the diet is over
- do not provide balanced nutrition
- do not provide enough flexibility – you cannot follow the diet for celebration, or vacation, or in case you fall ill, or travel to a different country
- do not provide recommendations for keeping the result after the diet is over
- are not comfortable enough to follow them for an extended period of time (which, again, is not useful even if you brace yourself, because sooner or later – boom! – you hit the plateau).
That is why 99% of popular short-lasting diets, whatever smart and scientific they are, never work in the long term.
The Only Real Way To Keep The Weight Low
In fact, the only real way to lose weight and then keep the result is to follow the diet for life.
Unless you have a totally wild metabolism burning away each calorie with the speed of light, you are most probably gaining weight all the time while you are not trying to lose it (I know it because I am like that myself). Human body rarely stays in balance in terms of weight, mostly only in very young age; at all other times, we either slowly gain weight, or slowly lose it, more often we gain.
Unless you have a totally wild metabolism burning away each calorie with the speed of light, you are most probably gaining weight all the time while you are not trying to lose it
Therefore, the bitter truth is that you, together with me and maybe about 90% of all people on the planet, have to watch your eating if you do not want to gain excessive weight.
There is nothing terrible in this, though. Nobody argues that people with skin problems have to take more profound care of their skin, while people with stomach issues have to watch what they eat. The same with weight; we just have to follow some rules.
If you are already in depression about dieting during your whole life, and considering the motto “Better happy than slim”, relax. There is a trick here.
What is Perfect Diet
There are several qualities that every clever diet has to possess. If you are serious about losing weight, you should think of a long-term strategy, so the diet is crucial. Use this checklist for each diet you want to try out:
- the diet for weight loss must provide balanced nutrition
- the diet MUST NOT cause calorie deficit
- the diet must provide enough flexibility and recommendations for celebrations, travelling, or falling ill
- the diet must not include complicated calculations (because humans quickly grow tired of calculations)
- easy diet for weight loss must not limit you in the range of products allowed, or must offer an interchange of products
- the diet for weight loss must not keep you feeling hungry after meal
- the diet must not attract much attention from people around you (I hate this when people start exploring the contents of my plate or comment on my necessity to lose or not to lose weight)
- the diet must be affordable; many fancy diets really include exotic products or products that some people cannot afford often
- the diet must include products easy to find in shops
- the diet should allow variation for high-activity and low-activity periods, or take into account the season; for example, in cold regions, people prefer to consume hot dishes to keep themselves warmer. In other words, the diet should be compatible to your habitation
- the diet must provide opportunities for cheat meals and emotional meals
- the diet must not isolate you from your social circle (we all know those party-poopers sadly chewing on a leaf of salad while others try to enjoy their tasty foods)
- and eventually, the diet must enable you to lose as much weight as you plan!
And the diet must include ALL of these aspects! That is exactly why most popular diets do not work.
Weight Loss Diets Exposed
If you google some of the most popular diets for weight loss, like I did, you’ll find many of them, and many of them are claimed as effective. To give an example of why they are not, in the long-term, let’s dissect some of them.
Juice diet – causes quick weight loss, mostly you lose proteins and some fats (not more than about 30-50 grams per day).
- lacks proteins
- causes considerable calorie deficit, leading you to weight loss plateau and speedy weight gain starting the next day you quit the diet
- is not flexible for celebrations or travelling
- some people just cannot make themselves fresh juices several times a day
- definitely limits the range of products allowed
- keeps you hungry at times
- attracts lot of attention from other people
- some people cannot afford to buy THAT many fruit each day
- is not flexible enough for cold seasons, is not hearty enough
- provides no opportunities for cheat meals
- isolates from society
- will not allow you to lose much weight, mostly because the weight loss plateau hits earlier (and will be right!)
Intermittent fasting – allows to lose some weight, and can be followed for a longer period of time, but obviously has certain cons:
- causes calorie deficit
- causes emotional discomfort
- attracts attention
- isolates from peers at times
As any hunger-based diet, intermittent fasting causes calorie deficit at some periods of the day, and the body starts burning its fats. However, the body also starts to use its muscle, because it lacks intake of proteins. And you can’t eat some proteins “in advance”, because the body does not store them. Another problem is that intermittent fasting causes drop in level of sugar in blood. This means that the brain will lack nutrition, because brain feeds exclusively on glucose. Also, drops in sugar level may cause nausea and headache. Also, it is emotionally uneasy to handle hunger at times.
The raw diet – another calorie deficit causing diet. Has all the same mechanisms and cons as the juicing diets. Can be endured a bit longer due to increased intake of fiber. However, longer intake of raw fruit and vegetables can also cause alkaline disbalance (surprise!).
Weight-loss teas – cause loss of water from the body. Also, some teas can stimulate defecation. Yeah, you will lose some weight, obviously. But this weight will be not fat.
I can really go forever with this. The point is, not a single “weight loss short-term fast result” diet will not work the way you are promised. The only way to achieve a fast and long-lasting result is to find a mode of nutrition, a nutritional lifestyle, that will help you lose weight and keep the result.
You can use one of the fast-working diets to lose a certain amount of weight, but afterwards, you still need to find a long-lasting diet that will be nutritious, variable, flexible, affordable and easy enough, to follow most of the time. Basically, as far as I have researched it, the best ideas are high-carb low-fat, or high-fat low-carb modes.
I also have to warn you that “healthy’ nutrition does not automatically mean “nutrition for weight loss”. I have an experience of gaining weight, fast, following a totally healthy nutrition.
So healthy food is not equal to weight loss diet. You can’t expect weight loss only eating healthy. Your diet, I mean everyday diet, should enable you to lose weight when you want it. For example, vegan or vegetarian diet is very healthy. However, it is not a panacea for weight loss, and you will not lose weight with it automatically. It all depends on a range of factors.
So when you start choosing a diet to lose some kilos before the summer season, check if this diet is compatible with the criteria of “a perfect diet”. The more criteria are met, the more chances you have to lose weight successfully. Don’t blame youself is something does not work. Just look for the best option for yourself.