People tend to lose their reason before they lose their weight. This is just how things are with anything that’s rather hard to achieve. Mythology takes the place of sound reasoning, and superstition takes the place of wisdom. What are we talking about, you’re asking? Think about why diets fail. More often than not, we fail at them for the same reason that we fail at a lot of other things – they’re so hard that we end up believing that there’s no real way to succeed. We instead get to believing in and looking for “tricks” to succeed by.
Think about anything that people tend to fail at often – making more money, becoming healthier, being successful with women – there’s a lot of mythology that gets abroad in all of these areas that people find hard to succeed at. But we are more interested in why diets fail right now.
When it comes to dieting to lose weight, most people don’t realize that they’ve been brainwashed by all the false advertising that they’ve had placed before them for decades now. Everywhere you see a dieting ad, they try to get away with giving you impossibly optimistic pictures of what’s possible with their diet. People grow up thinking that if only they could do it right, losing 30 pounds in 30 days really must be possible. And therein, according to a major study done by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, lies the reason for why diets fail. In a word, it’s unrealistic expectations (okay, that’s two words).
For instance, remember how they always tell you that you need to burn 3500 cal (or cut your intake down by 3500 cal) to lose a pound of fat? Apparently, that’s an overly optimistic and even flawed way of looking at it.
In this study, that you can read in the medical journal The Lancet, they’ve worked out a dependable model of how the body reacts when you eat less or exercise more. Basically, what they’ve found is that the body responds very well to changes in diet and exercise routine and doesn’t respond very well when you put it through the same diet and the same exercise regimen for very long. In short, they’ve found that the reason why diets fail often is, we put ourselves through the same diet far too long.
So what they are suggesting now is that weight-loss diets should be designed in two phases. In the first phase, aggressive cutting of food intake will work fine. But in the following phase, people should be put on easy-to-follow diets that are not very demanding.
As for that old standby about 3500 calories, it is kind of relative. Heavy people tend to put on more weight with the same number of calories taken in than thin people.