The word “diet” has a bad reputation in the weight loss community. But the bottom line is that we are all on a diet of some sort. Your diet is simply your eating plan. Even if you eat whatever you want, you’re on a diet. But in order to lose weight, your eating plan – your diet – must change. Here’s why:
You need to change your energy balance. The only way to lose weight without medical intervention (like surgery) is to adjust your energy balance. Extra body fat doesn’t go away on it’s own. Your body needs to burn that fat as fuel when you create an energy deficit. Some diets help you achieve an energy deficit by eliminating or decreasing your dependence on certain food groups, like carbs or wheat. Some diets help you achieve the deficit by using a specific eating schedule, like intermittent fasting. Some use portion control. But any program that works is based on energy balance and each effective plan includes a diet in some variation. Let me explain “energy balance”. What experts are talking about is the balance between the amount of calories you eat and the amount you burn for energy. When you burn more calories then you eat that creates a deficit and the body has to go into the fat storage areas of your body and start to burn that fat. That how you loss body fat, loss weight and loss inches.
Exercise alone is not effective, you would have to live in the health club. So what if you hate to diet? Your only other option to slim down is to change your energy balance with exercise. You have to burn enough calories with vigorous activity so that your body burns stored fat as fuel. Sounds effective, right? It may be if you only have a very small amount of weight to lose. But for most people, exercise alone is not effective. The amount of activity needed for weight loss is substantial and could ultimately cause burn out or injury in the long run. Of course, exercise is effective for weight loss. But exercise needs to be paired with diet for real sustainable results.
Weight maintenance matters. So what happens if you lose weight but don’t change your diet? The weight comes back. Your original diet may have caused the weight gain in the first place. If you return to your old eating habits, the weight will come back, too. This is one of the reasons that you need to choose the best diet for you based on your own lifestyle and personal preferences. A modified version of the diet you choose will become your diet for life if you want to keep the scale from creeping back up.
The Truth Behind “Diets Don’t Work”
The reason that weight loss experts generally discourage clients from going on a “diet” is that many diets are too restrictive. Fad diets or crash diets will give you a 5 to 10 pound loss in weight, but in a couple of days it comes right back. When you hear a diet guru say that diets don’t work, what they often mean to say is, “overly restrictive diets don’t work.” They usually don’t mean to imply that it is unnecessary for you to change your eating habits.
Reasonable diets do work and they are absolutely essential for long term weight loss. If you are ready to slim down, take some time to evaluate your lifestyle, your support network and your health history to find a diet – that works for you. Your want to find a complete diet that give up the nutrition you need. Call it whatever you want, just make sure that it is reasonable and sustainable for the long term.