Most Diets Don't Work for Weight Loss: Here Is Why

by Kim GreeneSeptember 1, 2022

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects about 98 million adults in the US.

With the prevalence of obesity, the popularity of diet plans has significantly increased. Everyone tries to follow a restrictive diet to shed a couple of pounds. But, according to Health Reporter, many popular diets do not work for the majority of people.

Some diets are effective for a few months, but after a year, they do not benefit you. Many experts agree that diets do not work for weight loss, and here's why. 

Table Of Contents

Why Diets Don't Work

Have you tried losing weight by restricting your calorie intake by following a restrictive diet plan with a low carbohydrate or low-fat ratio? 

Many diet plans consist of restricting certain food groups. However, people find it more challenging to stick to such diets because they develop cravings, resulting in binge eating on cheat days. 

Many people find themselves stuck in a vicious cycle of restrictive dieting that does not produce a noticeable outcome. Sometimes the concept of a cheat day allows people to give in to their temptations.

As a result, they eat calorie-dense foods before they cycle back to restrictive eating. But the problem isn't that dieters are not trying hard enough. Instead, the primary concern is that diets do not always work for weight loss.

Here are some reasons for the temporary weight loss and why people regain most of the lost weight

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Consuming Extra Calories on Cheat Days 

One of the primary reasons for diets not working for people is that the initial weight loss is temporary. The weight is regained once you get into cheat days and consume extra calories.

Slow Metabolism

You regain weight because restrictive diets slow down your metabolism. The body does not know the difference between famine and diet.

When the body starts starving due to overly-restrictive diets, it slows the metabolism. As a result, you burn fewer calories in the resting phase. Therefore, staying more active to burn excess calories when your metabolism slows down would be best.  

Nutrient Deficiency 

Another reason diets don't always work is that they create a nutrient deficiency in your body. Most fad diets eliminate certain food groups. As a result, you miss out on vital nutrients necessary to keep you healthy. 

Unsustainable Weight Loss

Diets make you forget how to keep your body well-nourished. When you get used to a restrictive diet, you don't consume food vital to staying healthy.

When your basal metabolism slows down, it also burns fewer calories. Unfortunately, this unsustainable weight-loss method makes you gain weight as soon as you ditch a restrictive diet.

Weight as a Set Point

The only successful way to lose weight is by developing a healthier lifestyle by staying more active throughout the day. Restrictive diets do not create sustainable weight loss. Instead, burning extra calories by incorporating cardio and strength training workouts works better for weight loss. 

Experts also believe that we have significantly less control over our weight. There is a set point theory regarding our weight.

According to this theory, our genetics and hormones help regulate body weight. This theory suggests that the human body works like a rubber band. 

Your body's preferred weight is when the rubber band is loose. The set point theory suggests that when you follow restrictive diets and limit your food consumption, the body is pushed out of its comfort zone, stretching the rubber band.

The more you stretch the rubber band, the more likely it is to swing back to its initial point. Therefore, the farther you push your body from the set point by limiting food intake, the more likely it is to revert to its natural weight when you stop following diet plans. 

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Why Does Your Body Resist Weight Loss?

Dieting can trigger changes in the body. These changes resist weight loss. When a person is in a calorie deficit, the body adapts to starvation mode.

This slows down your metabolic rate, resulting in fewer calories burned. Unfortunately, this sluggish metabolism makes the body resist weight loss.

People can only follow sustainable weight loss when they incorporate a workout into their routine because increased activity helps boost metabolism.

As a result, you burn more calories, keeping excess pounds off. Therefore lifestyle interventions such as regular exercise are vital for people to lose weight as restrictive diets and limited food intake does not result in sustainable weight loss. 

The Bottom Line

Losing weight is a gradual process. Crash diets do not result in sustainable weight loss as you're more likely to put on the pounds once you stop following the diets.

If you're struggling with weight, you must make lifestyle changes by consuming a healthy balanced diet and exercising regularly.

You should consult a healthcare professional to form a personalized diet plan that does not restrict your food intake but provides you with the proper nutrients, which are vital for keeping your metabolism active. 

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