Weight Loss Tip Number #1
Do diets really work? In this article, we’ll be discussing if diets actually work or not. And if not, then what? Is there anything else that can be done to lose weight?
What is a diet, and what classifies being on a diet? Why are there so many different diet programs out there, and which ones work better than the others? Are there diets that don’t actually require not eating? Why is it when you’re on a diet, you’re always starving?
I’m sure many of you have asked these questions throughout the years. I’m sure that many of you have tried a diet or known someone to try a diet only to end up nonsuccessful and not lose weight. A better statement is that most people know that additional weight is not good for you long term, yet most people don’t have a clear understanding of losing weight. If people truly knew how to lose weight, the obesity rate would not be 42.7% today and grew to an estimated 51% in 2030. Obviously, most people don’t know how to lose weight because there are so many different diet programs out there claiming to produce results but the statistics point in the other direction.
First of all, what is a diet? Let’s start with the etymology of the word diet and build from that. The word diet was first used in the English language in the 14th century. Its origins mean to “habitually take in food and drink.” It also has the meaning “of why of life.” Combining the two statements, food and drink and way of life means eating and drinking as a way of life. Most of us can associate with this statement.
As a side note, there’s also something else to know about the word diet; it has the root word of die at the start of it. Some believe that to go on a diet is to die because you’re going to starve yourself to death or eat bland food with no substance; therefore, it is like dying. However, if we look at the etymology of the word and the definition of eat and drink as a way of life, which is the ultimate cause of obesity, then the die comes from eating ourselves to death. Two different takes on the same root word within diet.
The classification of a diet today is the restriction of food or calories to reduce weight. The concept seems pretty straightforward and, if followed, hopefully, yields good results with weight loss. However, this is not the case! Diets don’t work, let me say that again, diets don’t work.
This could be considered bad news for most as an estimated 45 million Americans each year go on the diet journey and spend approximately 33 billion dollars in the process. That is a lot of people and a lot of money to produce no results in the end.
Let’s start with explaining why diets don’t work in the first place. This information may help you understand the process so that you don’t get caught up in the diet race, hoping for results that will probably not come to fruition.
Here’s the typical process when it comes to a diet. A person, let’s give them the name Bill, currently consumes 3000 calories per day on average and wants to lose weight, so he reduces his calories to 2500 calories per day. In the first month, Bill sees results and is very happy because he has lost 10 pounds. The second month Bill continues on the same path; however, he only loses fare less in month two with just two pounds. Bill’s a little frustrated but says I’ll continue. So in the third month using the same tactics, Bill loses no weight then decides to give up. Does it sound familiar? Have you heard this story before? Or even worse, is Bill actually you?
So what went wrong in the above story? Bill cut his calories by 500 per day on average, which produced good results in the first month. Yet the second and third months, he achieved almost no success, which made him frustrated and quit.
So here’s what’s happening. The human body is in balance for the most part throughout the entire life. This means that if an individual such as Bill is used to consuming 3,000 calories per day on average, then Bill’s body will burn up to 3000 calories per day on average. When Bill reduces calories by 500 from 3000 down to 2500, the body will balance out over time. The balancing out effect generally takes between 30 and 45 days.
This is why the greatest results are achieved in the first month because of the 30-day window. The second month is the closing of the window, and generally, results, even though they’re positive, are significantly reduced compared to the first month. When the third month rolls around, the window is entirely closed, and therefore the body has fully adjusted to burning 2500 calories per day, and no weight loss is achieved.
Therefore, to successfully diet and lose weight, a reduction in calories would have to take place approximately every 45 days or so. This may need a little give or take for each person. Once the reset occurs from the second calorie reduction, another reduction in calories would have to occur. This process would have to continue until the individual takes in too few calories to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This could be one aspect of the die inside the word diet in that the person starves themself.
Calorie maintenance is important to lose or maintain weight. And in a weight loss approach, a caloric deficit, which means fewer calories are taking in than expelled in 24 hours, must be achieved. In a caloric deficit, the individual is expending more calories than consumed, which causes the body to tap into stored energy sources, fat, to make up the difference. This process is the key to weight loss.
So the next question is how to lose weight past the 30 to 45 days if calories are being reduced? This is pretty simple and straightforward, with the equation of calories in must be less than calories out. In the example above, the calories reduction did make the calories less but only for a short time until the body catches up. To prevent this catching-up effect, you need to maintain a target calorie count each day, holding this number consistent, and exercise to create a deficit even after the body has adjusted to the current calorie count. For more information on how to lose weight, please read the following article.
A question from the above statement is, what is a target calorie count? There are many different ways to calculate an approximate amount of calories to consume per day. Some of these are highly sophisticated and require using the combination of math and charts. These can also be done via apps and websites where questions are asked, such as height, weight, age, gender, physical activity levels, and so forth.
But a straightforward way to calculate a directionally correct target calorie count is to use the simple 13, 14, 15 rule. This is simply taking 13, which would represent calories times your body weight for an inactive individual. Use 14 times your body weight for an individual that’s moderately active and 15 times your body weight for someone active. Are these numbers going to be exact? No, but they are directionally correct and straightforward to come up with. Try setting at target calorie count to this number and tweak as needed in your weight loss journey.
The unavoidable exercise is also required to lose and maintain weight. There has to be a draw of calories to make the equation calories expended greater than calories consumed. This is how the body can stay at a caloric deficit without adjusting to catch up and resetting the calorie table.
Exercise is just movement. All exercises are good for you, but the desired health rate is best for achieving weight loss goals. So a simple thing to remember is that the optimal heart rate is 220 minus your current age. The goal is to achieve this optimal heart rate for 45 minutes, minimal at a time. The longer you can sustain this optimal heart rate, the better, and the more times you can do it per week, the better.
Our bodies have been built to be in motion for most of our awake hours. This is evident by evolution as humankind was always seeking food to survive, which required constant movement in trying to capture or harvest food sources. The sitting around phenomenon didn’t take place until recent centuries due to changes in food storage, IE the refrigerator, which was invented in 1834.
One last note. The weight didn’t go on overnight, so don’t expect the weight to come off overnight. The process of losing weight is lengthy, so set weight loss goals on a short-term basis and allow those short-term goals to accumulate into long-term goals. If you need to lose 50 plus pounds, don’t expect that to happen all at once. Map out a course where you can start to lose 2 pounds per week and maintain that for 25 weeks or so until you achieve your goal. The biggest thing you can do it’s just start, get your reps in, become health-conscious, and allow the process to repeat. Starting is more important than the end goal because, without a start, nothing happens.
Mostly informational writing in this article should be known to most people. The difference is, what do you do with this information and your desire to become more healthy by losing weight?