Whether you’re for or against diets, unless you really go out of your way to bend the rules, you will see some sort of result for all your pain and discomfort. If there is a positive outcome, no matter how small, those who have had to put up with your short temper and changeable moods will be mighty relieved.
Going on a diet gives your body a bit of a shock. It has got used to the daily excess of calories and knows that it’s not going to get stressed taking exercise because you don’t do any. When all of a sudden you decide to go on a diet and move yourself a little more than usual, it comes as a bit of a rude awakening.
Depriving your body of the calories sends out a signal that it interprets as there is going to be a shortage of food. It may not be life threatening, but the level of change in your daily calorie intake causes it to go into protection mode. It closes down and stores whatever energy it can. It makes you hungry so that you go and find more to eat. All this is why you feel lousy on a diet.
Having lost a few pounds in the first flush of your diet, your body’s metabolism starts to slow down. This effectively means that you become less efficient at burning calories.
This is our body’s built-in survival instinct. You could take in more calories, but then again your metabolism might still be slow and you’ll end up with more fat than before.
This is the time when you begin to lose hope. You bin the scales, not believing what they’re saying. You question the wisdom of going on a diet in the first place. It all gets very depressing indeed.
What you’re experiencing is your body working against you. It doesn’t like you disturbing its natural rhythms, its balance, its homeostasis – whether it’s right or wrong.
The secret is actually not to go on a diet at all. What you need to be thinking about is changing your behaviors. Examine them and find out which ones made you overweight in the first place. Then you need to learn new habits – slim habits.
Author: Henry John is a well known speaker, author and commentator on diet, health problems and behavior change.