47. Can we drop the rigidity please?

Uncategorized Aug 07, 2020

Three quarters of dieters will regain their weight within two years of finishing a major diet.

A lot of people end up in a process formally called weight cycling but commonly known as yo-yo dieting. Research is starting to uncover the negative side effects in losing and gaining the same five pounds over and over again. Note: this is five pounds of fat, not the five pounds of water and food we all tend to fluctuate within daily.

We already known that yo - yo dieting is linked with all sorts of chronic health problems but the recent findings are more reason to maintain fat loss once achieved. 

Too many diet plans and products promise quick fat loss with no hunger and little effort. It's impossible to avoid these claims but the fact remains: these diets typically backfire. A big reason why is that they are too rigid. Rigid diets specify rules like:

• Only eat foods that were available during the Paleolithic era

• Carbohydrates have to go, protein and fats only

• No eating before noon or after eight 

• 50% of your nutrition from products, the other half can be food

Because rigid diets are unpleasant and too restrictive, cravings build up and people fall off the wagon. Once they do they usually binge. Psychologists call this the "what the hell effect." The gal that sent me a message asking me to write something on the topic replaced hell with fuck. It's a good thing we aren't scientists. 

The result is more anxiety, depression, and body fat than those who eat a flexible plan. 

In comparison, a flexible diet is based on energy balancing of calories eaten and burned. The focus on portions size allows for changes in daily routine, appetite, and food preference. This is big because the urge to binge diminishes when you can eat what you crave any day any time, you just have to account for it and adjust the rest of your food accordingly. 

For example, when I go to a party and eat too much a flexible diet allows me to cut extra calories the next day and increase my exercise to compensate. As a result, I can stay on a flexible diet forever.

People that use flexible diets learn better long term eating habits than rigid dieters. And because of the flexibility allowed in what to eat and when the urges that lead to yo-yo dieting are squashed.



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