Author Topic: Diets are counterproductive  (Read 6952 times)

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Offline Witchyjoshy

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Diets are counterproductive
« on: January 26, 2012, 06:17:24 pm »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/25/dieting-stop-diets-dont-work_n_1231472.html

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It seems like there's a new fad diet or food "discovery" nearly every day that promises to help us lose weight and be healthier. But is eating right and maintaining a healthy weight so complicated that we must drown ourselves in new techniques and data, searching for the ever-elusive answer to our body issues?

Thankfully, no. Eating right is a practice, and there are some pretty straightforward ways to get and stay on track. But perhaps what's equally important is understanding why these "diets" don't work -- so you can ditch them once and for all. Here's why you should forget about the "promising" eating programs -- plus tips for how to live a healthy life, the right way.

Essentially, it talks about the psychological factors with dieting.  How stress makes your body convert food into fat instead of muscle, and how diets make you stress about food.  About how it makes your body and your mind want to rebel against the diet.  About how your body pretty much knows what it needs to be healthy, all you need to do is pay attention to your body's cues more.  And about how taking away certain kinds of food based on things like carbs or starches will make your body crave non-nutritional foods like candy to replace it.

My opinion?  Right on.  I've gained more weight on diets than I have off of them.  I've lost more weight by eating slower, taking fewer portions, and ending the meal when the food starts to get tiresome than I have on "remove carbs/meat to lose weight" diets.
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Offline Eniliad

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 07:33:02 pm »
I'm doing fine on my "diet" which is much less a diet, than it is "I'm eating less and making it healthier". I'm not worrying about it or stressing - and my weight loss has been fantastic.
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Offline Vene

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 07:34:44 pm »
A big reason a lot of these diets fail is because people do them short term. To truly lose weight you need to make a permanent change in how you live. A heavy, but steady, weight is preferable to a fluctuating one.

Offline Auri-El

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2012, 07:57:09 pm »
Key to losing weight (barring health issues): eat less, exercise more. And even if you don't lose weight doing that, it'll at least make you healthier. I've never understood the obsession with all the fad diets. Counting calories isn't that much work.

Offline Witchyjoshy

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2012, 07:58:00 pm »
A big reason a lot of these diets fail is because people do them short term. To truly lose weight you need to make a permanent change in how you live. A heavy, but steady, weight is preferable to a fluctuating one.

Actually, I thought the big reason a lot of these diets failed was because it required you to battle your own body, whereas a diet that worked would be one that worked with your body.
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Offline Vene

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 08:17:51 pm »
A big reason a lot of these diets fail is because people do them short term. To truly lose weight you need to make a permanent change in how you live. A heavy, but steady, weight is preferable to a fluctuating one.

Actually, I thought the big reason a lot of these diets failed was because it required you to battle your own body, whereas a diet that worked would be one that worked with your body.
Depends on the diet in question, but to some extent any weight loss plan is battling your body. From a physiological perspective our bodies will do whatever it can to avoid losing weight and whatever it can to put on more weight.

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2012, 08:19:38 pm »
Am I the only one who read the title as "Deists are Counter-Productive"?

Offline Jack Mann

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2012, 08:25:25 pm »
Am I the only one who read the title as "Deists are Counter-Productive"?

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Offline Witchyjoshy

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2012, 08:59:27 pm »
A big reason a lot of these diets fail is because people do them short term. To truly lose weight you need to make a permanent change in how you live. A heavy, but steady, weight is preferable to a fluctuating one.

Actually, I thought the big reason a lot of these diets failed was because it required you to battle your own body, whereas a diet that worked would be one that worked with your body.
Depends on the diet in question, but to some extent any weight loss plan is battling your body. From a physiological perspective our bodies will do whatever it can to avoid losing weight and whatever it can to put on more weight.

I'm pretty sure that mostly applies during times of stress (the whole "must gain weight and never lose weight") but not so much during times of not-stress.

Anytime your body feels stressed, it goes into a preservation mode.  Where it preserves everything as fat.  One of the things that can cause this is "starvation mode"

Essentially, it's when your body thinks it is starving, but in reality it isn't.  Some things that can cause this are losing weight too quickly, depriving yourself suddenly of specific nutrients, making any major reduction to your diet... when the body goes into starvation mode, it essentially clings tightly to the fat cells, holding onto them for as long as it possibly can.

...The trick isn't to wait it out, unless you have an immensely strong psyche (And if you had an immensely strong psyche and still got fat, then there's probably reasons why you're fat that no diet can really help with) but rather, to increase the amount of food you take in to end the starvation mode.  Not too much, of course.

It's easy to say "It's healthiest to eat only x y and z", it's another to actually put that into practice.  And that is where most fad diets fail.  They focus on the goal and not the method you get there with.

The best "diet" is to eat less of everything... but not to cut it out entirely.  Like chocolate?  Have some every day.  Just limit yourself on it to only a little bit.  Craving that immensely delicious meal your parents make once a week?  Have some, eat less of it.

The problem is that we (as a society) spend so much time vilifying fat people for being fat that we don't focus on the cause or the cure.  We focus on the end goal, and that is what fad diets all aim towards.

People who only look at the goal will trip over every obstacle along the way.  And that's terrible.
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Offline Vene

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2012, 09:45:55 pm »
I'm pretty sure that mostly applies during times of stress (the whole "must gain weight and never lose weight") but not so much during times of not-stress.
Loss of weight is in and of itself stressful for the body and there are important differences in the physiology of people who lost weight and people who have been at a certain weight for a long time. Like, I've been at 170 lbs for quite a while, as a result I actually need more calories per day than somebody of the same height, same build, and same weight, but who was 250 lbs a half decade ago.

This is actually filled with lots of good information and it explains a part of why this is, and one reason has to do with muscle anatomy. There are two types of skeletal muscle fibers, fast twitch and slow twitch. Fast twitch fibers are very strong, but are inefficient and can't be used for a very long period of time. Slow twitch fibers are efficient and great for endurance, but do not have the strength of fast twitch fibers. If you want to sprint, you want fast twitch fibers; if you want to run a marathon, you want slow twitch fibers. The reason this is important is because people who lose weight actually have a greater number of slow twitch fibers. As a result of this they have a much lower basal metabolic rate and have to be very careful with their dietary intake. The article mentions a woman who has calculated her caloric expenditure while biking to be 5/minute, but the "official" figure is 11 calories/minute. That is how drastic of an effect weight loss can have on a body. Please do not belittle me with your lecture on "starvation mode." I fucking know what it is, I study this shit.

That said, you are absolutely right when you said,
Quote
The best "diet" is to eat less of everything... but not to cut it out entirely.  Like chocolate?  Have some every day.  Just limit yourself on it to only a little bit.  Craving that immensely delicious meal your parents make once a week?  Have some, eat less of it.

The problem is that we (as a society) spend so much time vilifying fat people for being fat that we don't focus on the cause or the cure.  We focus on the end goal, and that is what fad diets all aim towards.

People who only look at the goal will trip over every obstacle along the way.  And that's terrible.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 09:48:29 pm by Vene »

Offline Osama bin Bambi

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2012, 09:57:16 pm »
Key to losing weight (barring health issues): eat less, exercise more. And even if you don't lose weight doing that, it'll at least make you healthier. I've never understood the obsession with all the fad diets. Counting calories isn't that much work.

I've lost a lot of weight just by only eating when I'm very hungry. I don't eat just to pass the time, and I usually wait until a meal before eating as much as I want. I never force myself to eat if I don't feel hungry. My metabolism knows best, IMO.
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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2012, 01:25:01 am »
I'm gonna be nitpicky and point out that it's FAD diets that are counterproductive, not "diets." A "diet" is, well, anything you do as an eating regimen. Cutting back on sugary shit and eating more veggies is an example of a diet, just not one that's got a big, widely known name.

Vene's already said basically everything I could say on the matter. You can't ever stop being on a restricted diet once you've exceeded a healthy weight for your body. Unrestricted diet is a good chunk of how people GET fat. Sucks but it's true.

Offline Cerim Treascair

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2012, 11:12:21 pm »
in my case, my parents have gone breadless.  Sure, they've lost weight, but me, I've gone for a more balanced approach.  More salads, lighter portions, and I'm not depriving myself of treats now and again.

The satisfying thing about my diet, beyond the fact it's not a fad thing? I'm a huge chocoholic, and on a recent shopping trip, I actually picked up a package of Oreos, did a little more shopping, thought about it, and put the Oreos back, because they were tempting, but I didn't need them.

I've dropped about 7 pounds in the past month.
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Offline Vene

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2012, 12:14:49 am »
in my case, my parents have gone breadless.  Sure, they've lost weight, but me, I've gone for a more balanced approach.  More salads, lighter portions, and I'm not depriving myself of treats now and again.

The satisfying thing about my diet, beyond the fact it's not a fad thing? I'm a huge chocoholic, and on a recent shopping trip, I actually picked up a package of Oreos, did a little more shopping, thought about it, and put the Oreos back, because they were tempting, but I didn't need them.

I've dropped about 7 pounds in the past month.
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Offline Cerim Treascair

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Re: Diets are counterproductive
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2012, 12:19:05 am »
aw, gee, Vene, now I'm blushing...
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