We currently operate under the assumption that eating less, restricting food choices, and constantly micromanaging our intake are all healthy, normal activities.
It’s incredibly rare to have the initial weight loss and not have the following regain.
Diet companies are thrilled that diets seem like they work. Diet companies are equally thrilled that diets almost always ultimately fail.
Weight loss studies last long enough to take note of the weight that’s lost — they don’t continue on long enough to see what happens after the weight is lost. That’s very convenient for the companies funding the studies.
Spoiler alert: Said studies are almost always funded by the companies who are selling the drug or diet in question.
Weight loss is not confusing. Well, at least that’s what we are told over and over again. It is a simple equation of calories in versus calories out. Or it’s a simple balance of macronutrients. Or it’s a simple avoidance of certain food groups. Or it’s a simple rotation of different food groups. Or it’s a simple amount of hours during the day you’re supposed to eat and not eat. Or it’s a simple supplement that ancient cultures used to induce euphoria and perfect health. Or…Or…
Truth is, all of those things can cause initial weight loss. In my diet heyday, I tried lots of them. And most of them worked — for a time.
What none of these studies account for is the inevitable regain.
They never stick around long enough to see what happens to your body biologically and mentally as you try to stay on the diet.
We currently operate under the assumption that eating less, restricting food choices, and constantly micromanaging our intake are all healthy, normal activities. It’s so common that we assume it is normal. And it’s so ingrained and ‘normal,’ that we assume it’s healthy.
But the truth is, your body does not want you to restrict your food, and it does not want you to lose weight, especially when it feels like food is scarce.
So, your body will sabotage your efforts almost every time — while also making it harder and harder to lose weight the more 'famines' you put it through.
How does the body sabotage your efforts? It makes you exhausted and slows down your metabolism so you expend less energy and burn less calories. It makes you fixated on food. It makes your hungrier. It makes you binge. It forces you to gain weight back. Sometimes in one fell swoop, sometimes over the course of a year.
Your body does all of this on purpose. It does all of that to expend fewer and ingest more calories. After all, your body has no idea you are trying to fit into an arbitrarily-small bikini.
Your body thinks there is a motherf****** famine.
But if you have ever ended up at the same weight or higher after a diet, it’s not because you just needed to try harder. It’s because your body is baller at keeping you safe from famine.
And diet companies are lucky their clients “fail,” because it means they keep coming back for more, determined to try to be “good” this time.”
They remember back to that one time they lost a lot of weight, and give all the credit to the diet, failing to see that the yo-yo is all part of it. It’s incredibly rare to have the initial weight loss and not have the following regain.
And the people who seem so “good” at staying on diets are either people who are not actually dieting at all (and are truly listening to themselves), or else they are people who have disordered eating (and can't focus on much more than their diet).
So what’s the answer?
Your best bet at being a stable and healthy weight — which might not be as tiny as you’ve been hoping for — is to learn to truly feed yourself what you want and how much you want.
That’s the only scenario where your body won’t fight you back.
The answer is to stop fighting your weight.
You’ll find your weight stops fighting you back.