Top Reasons Why Diets Don’t Work

Updated on June 19th, 2021
Why Diets Don't Work

Weight loss and weight management are two trendy topics among American citizens. Just look at any Social media feed right before the summer season or after the holidays.

While dieting does show impressive initial results, new international research published in The BMJ observes that most diets, regardless of which one, lead to lower blood pressure and weight loss and, but these desired effects mostly vanish after a year.

Around 45 million Americans go on a diet every year.

The research was based on the results of 121 random trials with approximately 22,000 patients. The average age was 49, and every person followed a popular named diet — like keto, paleo, or the Mediterranean — or an alternative control diet — like counting macros — and reported changes in cardiovascular risk factors and weight loss.

According to the research, proof shows that most macronutrient diets, over six months, result in substantial improvements in cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure and moderate weight loss. However, after 365 days, the improvements in cardiovascular risk factors and effect on weight reduction mostly vanish.

A similar 2018 research, which followed 29 long-term weight loss studies, demonstrated that more than half of the lost weight was regained within two years, and by five years, more than 80 percent of lost weight was regained [2].

This indicates that individuals interested in shedding weight and maintaining it need a more sustainable plan than just going on a diet.

Why diets are short term

We often notice the results of a diet instantly when we begin. More so, if we are persistent and carry forward with it for some time. We often shed a lot of weight at the initial stages of the diet. What we forget is to make up for other things like our metabolism as we shed weight.

The more weight you lose, the slower your metabolism becomes. This means, the slower your metabolism is, the more challenging it gets to shed weight after a point. You need to make eating decisions that best suit you. We should not be feeling deprived, making us take the same unhealthy choices that we would take before we started the diet [3].

How can we fight back?

Many individuals start on the right footing but lose their way after some time has passed away. They bounce back to their previous habits of consuming. We need a complete lifestyle change when we look to maintain our weight loss for a more extended period.

The key to a complete lifestyle change is a balance between good physical activity and eating right. Whereas calorie restriction is a critical aspect of weight loss, physical activity is equally vital [4].

There is no particular diet that is the answer to all your weight loss problems. Everybody reacts to a particular diet differently. It is essential to find the right one for your body and you. The one thing to remember is that the journey of losing weight is one where we have to balance our eating habits and the kind of lifestyle we lead.

What’s a total lifestyle change? 

The recipe isn’t so intriguing. In fact, it’s pretty direct. It comes down to exercise and eating right. One of the biggest things that researchers see with people looking to maintain weight is exercise.

Calorie restriction is reasonable, but physical activity and exercise have to increase to create lean body mass to keep it off. The more lean mass an individual has, the more elevated their metabolism can be.

Doing what works for us is essential. There’s a lot of proof out there, from paleo to keto and intermittent fasting. Few individuals feel great when they do these things, and some individuals feel lousy. We need to identify what works best for us and find balance in our meal structure.

Rule of 50-25-25 

Where 50 percent of every meal is veggies, 25 percent is high fiber carbs, and 25 percent is lean protein. If we follow that formula, weight loss aside, we’ll feel well, and our blood sugars will be balanced, which helps maintain our weight.

Other recommendations for weight loss or not, staying healthy include:

  • 64 to 80 ounces of water daily
  • 7 hours of sleep per night
  • 150 minutes of exercise per week

There’s no particular diet that works for everyone. It’s what works best for us and is most sustainable for the long term. Any change we make to the daily food intake while lowering our total calories will, in fact, assist in weight loss.

Besides, there are factors other than diet that can have a huge impact on weight. For instance, everyday physical activity, regular exercise, and sleep are essential in maintaining a healthy weight.

Rather than following a named or highly restrictive diet, we endorse the Mediterranean diet. It’s well-researched and performs well compared with other diets, with long-lasting effects on LDL cholesterol levels.

Bottom Line

Shedding weight is not simple. If you’re struggling with weight, talk to a nutritionist, your doctor, and perhaps a health coach. Review this research with them and, together, decide on lifestyle and dietary changes that appeal to you. Then stick with them.

Remember, we’re most likely to stick with lifestyle changes we like. The road to change isn’t always a direct one. Admit any mistakes you make, learn from them, and relax back into your regimen while also taking it easy on yourself.

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