We’ve all been there done that, and we know diets don’t work-but what we want to know is why? Well let’s start by looking at the diagram above:
Note: I always include me in the WE because I too have done the DIET roundabout with you!
Start diet - Well we always start a diet on a Monday for some reason that’s a beginning for us mere mortals, but we never specify which Monday, so once we decide the Monday and the date of the Monday, we then announce it to all and sundry that’s willing to listen to us start this cycle again.
Restriction - Ok so we decide which celebrity diet or program we’re doing whether that’s shakes for 2 out of 3 meals, a special soup, added supplements, pre-packaged meal etc, etc, etc. We work out our daily calorie intake (according to a random calculator we found online), we download the latest tracking app and off we go! Usually the first Monday goes well, we’re pumped to lose weight, get in shape and finally be rid of this spare tyre we’ve been carrying around FOREVER!! And this time it’s going to work. Let’s forward to Friday of that week we are usually a bit HANGRY because the online calculator has given us a calorie number that more than likely doesn’t fit our unique metabolism (hormones) and whichever diet you’ve chosen this time around doesn’t fill your tummy and your brain is screaming at you to FEED ME!!
Deprivation - So here we are it’s Friday and maybe your usual routine is a takeaway and a bottle of wine, which of course doesn’t fit into our new healthy routine, so we feel a bit sad and deprived of our comfort foods or social outings. Now what do we do? Do we make the choice to have a “cheat meal” do we tell ourselves “well I haven’t eaten all day and it fit’s into my daily calorie intake so I’ll just have….” Or do we stick to your resolve and make a salad and binge watch the Biggest Loser to keep us on track? Now how do we feel? DEPRIVED!!!
Crave - This is a big one and usually the one that’s get’s us off track isn’t it. Now I don’t care if it’s sugary foods, salty foods, fatty foods, crappy foods etc, etc. It’s our personal hell at this point, it’s all we can think about, it’s on a permanent loop in our heads going around and around and no other food on our plan will fill that craving void. So if we actually are able to ignore the voices in our head telling us “ I have to eat this RIGHT now” we’re back to feeling deprived again because you don’t want to fail at this journey back to health. We start to question ourselves as to how am I going to stick to this for the long term? Right??? So you might be able to resist for the first few days or weeks even and then something might come up, your stressed out, there’s a celebration of some sort, whatever it might be and then what?
Give in - We give in maybe just for this meal, day, party, holiday whatever we want to tell ourselves that it’s ok because………insert excuse here. And then comes…..
Guilt - Yep we do it and the language we use to ourselves is horrendous let’s be honest. The things we say to ourselves we wouldn’t say to someone we love, would we? Would we call our children failures, useless idiots or worse? Nope but we do it to ourselves don’t we hourly, daily. We tell ourselves that I must be weak and I don’t have any willpower, because so and so can stick to the diet so it must be me!! Why can’t I do it? What is wrong with me? I know losing weight will make me feel better so why can’t I stick to the program?
I’m here to tell you why and it hasn’t got to do with weakness, gluttony or laziness. It has to do with the food choices and how they react in the body with our hormones, yep hormones. I bet that no one told you how the food you eat reacts with your body and how it functions. We get told things like “you are what you eat” but we don’t get told that hormones are at the basis of obesity. Having a deranged metabolism is actually talking about hormones that send signals to the brain telling us a myriad of messages like, hunger, I’m full, regulate my sugar etc. And the food choices we make effect these hormones, let’s take a simple food from the pyramid (the governments dietary guidelines) like I don’t know breads and cereals.
When digested by our bodies a few things happen but let’s keep it simple, it breaks the bread down to glucose yes glucose you’ve heard that word before isn’t that like sugar well yes, it is.
Other things are released from the bread like fibre, wheat proteins like gluten and others, and whatever added fortified synthetic vitamins were added to the product for “health” but let’s just look at the glucose and what happens to that.
When glucose enters the body, it raises our blood sugar, and this can have an impact on our health if our blood sugar get’s high and stays high it can cause all sorts of problems and worst case scenario is death, so our body releases insulin a hormone from the pancreas to direct the excess sugar out of the blood and shuttles it to places like our muscle cells. Insulin will also turn off our fat burning and promote glucose burning as the body’s primary fuel source. Any excess glucose ends up being stored as glycogen in the muscles, and it can also be stored as lipid in the fat tissue.[i] So let me put it this way IF our “diet” consists of lots of foods containing carbohydrates because we are told we need them and they are healthy then what is going to happen? That’s right-Blood Sugar goes up-Insulin is released-it stores the excess in our muscles, liver and our FAT cells to save our life. How awesome is that we get to live another day.
Insulin will also turn off our fat burning and promote glucose burning as the body’s primary fuel source. Any excess glucose ends up being stored as glycogen in the muscles, and it can also be stored as lipid in the fat tissue.[i] So let me put it this way IF our “diet” consists of lots of foods containing carbohydrates because we are told we need them and they are healthy then what is going to happen? That’s right-Blood Sugar goes up-Insulin is released-it stores the excess in our muscles, liver and our FAT cells to save our life. How awesome is that we get to live another day.
Now there is another “sugar” we can look at and what happens to it and it’s called Fructose, most sugar molecules are 50/50 of glucose and fructose let’s look at the white stuff some of us put in tea and coffee and don’t get me started on soft drinks and fruit juice. What does fructose do to our bodies and how does it affect hunger?
A high fructose diet can cause leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone released by our fat cells to the brain that tells us we have enough storage and we don’t need fuel (food) right now. One of the channels is that fructose raises levels of triglycerides in the blood, which blocks the transport of leptin from the blood and into the brain. This is how excess sugar throws body fat regulation off, making the brain think that it needs to keep eating, when in actual fat we have enough storage to see us through for quite a while.
Fructose can make the brain leptin resistant, so the brain doesn’t hear the signal to stop eating, creating a perfect storm of constant hunger  In excess it can also lead to Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease NAFD.
So what now?
Now we get off the diet round about and eat foods that nourish our bodies, taste great and keep our blood sugar level, to use our excess fat as fuel instead of glucose as fuel. What would it feel like to not be starving, feel deprived and guilty?
It feels awesome. Let me take you on a journey to not only weight loss but to overall health and wellness