How Diets Trick You Into Losing Weight
Diets help you lose weight by tricking you into eating less. While that might not sound bad, it can lead to unhealthy eating behaviors in the long run. For example, lets take Paleo diet. Paleo cuts out most carbs, sugar and processed food, which means that you can only eat food categories like meat, nuts and fruits. One problem with this diet approach is that its really difficult to fill all your caloric needs based on these few food categories – trust me Ive tried! No wonder people miraculously lose weight on Paleo.
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If youre overweight, it can work for a long time but at some point you will end up starved. Another trick.
Paleo and other diets use is encouraging you to eat more protein. Protein has shown to be the most satiating macronutrient. This means that eating high-protein foods helps you feel full for longer periods of time, which again helps you eat less.
Lets also examine an opposite diet like veganism. Vegan diets help a lot of people lose weight because they exclude two other major food categories, meat & dairy. At the same time, they also encourage you to eat more fiber, water and total food volume, which is again a good strategy to lose weight and to feel better! There is nothing wrong with strategies that help you eat less and healthier of course.
Eating enough protein and a lot of vitamin and mineral dense foods is important. However, what bothers me is when diet-book authors use these strategies secretly, making false claims. Making you falsely thing that the foods you are excluding from your diet are what is making you overweight and unhealthy. This can lead to very unhealthy eating behaviors in the long run.
Why Do Diets Make You Feel Better?
Another thing that confused me when experimenting with a few diets is that I was experiencing a big energy boost. There were periods, especially in the beginning, when I was eating less and even sleeping less, yet I felt unstoppable. I was a lean mean exercise machine! As I learned later, the reason this occurs is not due to the magic powers of the diet. Instead it was due to elevated Catecholamines; also known as the flight or fight response hormones. Adrenaline (epinephrine), noradrenaline (norepinephrine) and dopamine can increase your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, muscle strength, mental alertness and even produce a feeling of euphoria. Catecholamines are often released into the bloodstream due to stress or fright and prepare the body for the fight-or-flight response. Mystery solved. Although I love the energy surplus I experience on a hypocaloric diet, unfortunately you cant keep on losing weight for ever.
Breakfast: Not the most important meal of the day.
For some of you who stay current with the latest updates in nutrition, this wont be anything new to you. For others, it may even sound crazy… But I have been told all my life by parents, doctors and TV commercials that breakfast is this most important meal of the day, what the hell are you talking about?! you will think.