Ah yes, the New Year is upon us again. A time when most of us listen to motivational speeches willingly, write down our goals, and swear that this is the year we get our shit together. Some people do, most people don’t, especially when it comes to fat loss.
Dieting for weight loss is not a new thing, in fact it seems like its pretty much everyone’s thing since over half our population is overweight. Sadly, most people’s weight loss ambitions are doomed from the start.
Not only are things hard enough to begin with, but people are bombarded with misinformation constantly over social media and many of them simply jump from one fad diet to another desperately looking for something that ‘works.’
You see them at the gym, you talk to them at work, and you might just be one of them… yo-yo dieters.You feel stuck in an endless cycle of dieting, but can’t seem to make much headway… what gives? You’ve cut out carbs, you eschewed gluten, you tried keto, alkaline, blood type diet, and every other diet you come across, each one promising to be the solution to what ails you. They all failed for the same reason.
The Problem with Weight Loss
People think we have a problem losing weight but that is simply not true. Six out of every seven people who are overweight or obese will lose a significant amount of weight in their lifetime. So what is the problem then? They cannot keep it off.
The weight regain statistics are absolutely SHOCKING. Of the people who lose weight, 50-70% will regain it all back within a year. After 2 years that number is close to 85%, and after 3 years that number is 95%. You read that right, 95% of dieters will regain EVERYTHING they lost within 3 years. Of those who regain the weight, 1/3 to 2/3 will put back on MORE weight than they originally lost! Why does this happen?
The first answer is obvious; weight loss is not something you can put a start and an end date on. Whatever method you used to lose the weight will have to be continued PERMANANTLY in order to maintain that weight loss. So if you can’t see yourself using the method of dieting that you are on right now for the rest of your life… then you need to re-think your plan because it is GOING TO FAIL!
Choosing a sustainable plan has to form the BASE requirement for any program. In fact, in large meta-analysis of people who do successfully lose weight and keep it off, there is not ANY one diet that sticks out as having more success than others. What does stick out is patterns of behavior.
Losing Weight And Keeping It Off
People who lose weight and keep it off do the following:
-Choose sustainable methods of weight loss
-Engage in self monitoring: they weigh themselves daily and also typically weigh their food
-They practice some form of cognitive restraint: calorie counting, time restricted eating, food group elimination (ie ‘clean’ eating) are all forms of cognitive restraint
-They exercise: not only does exercising increase your energy expenditure, but it also sensitizes you to satiety signals and has been shown in studies to reduce weight regain post diet
-They DO NOT SNACK and if they do, they track it (most people underestimate their calorie intake by almost 50% in nutrition studies, largely because they don’t account for handfuls of snacking throughout the day)
-They are good at delaying gratification. People who want fast results, usually don’t get lasting results
-They don’t typically use weight loss supplements or engage in fad diets
Hopefully this has given you some ideas on behaviors you will need to utilize in order to have successful and sustained weight loss. They key is this has to become a LIFESTYLE, meaning it has to be a priority. It doesn’t matter that you’re stressed, tired, hungry, etc. This has to be a major priority in your life if you want it to work.
You also need to understand why people tend to regain weight so easily. Research studies have identified that dieting triggers the body’s ‘self defense system’ which I describe in depth in my new ebook, ‘Fat Loss Forever.’ This self defense system works to lower your metabolic rate, increase your hunger, decrease your energy expenditure, and make future weight loss more difficult.
Why? Think about dieting from an evolutionary perspective. You are telling your body ‘food is scarce.’ In order to defend against starvation, the self defense system is triggered to lower your metabolic rate so you don’t starve and ready you for rapid weight regain should you overfeed in the future.
Why? Because if food was scarce, your body would want to make sure that if it came across large amounts of food, it had the ability to store it efficiently. Remember, our genetics are still thousands of years behind our current conditions.
Tens of thousands of years ago, we didn’t have ways to store foods for long periods of time. Thus, your body would want to make sure it could store as much as possible ESPECIALLY if food was previously scarce. Ever wonder why weight loss is so slow during dieting, but after the diet is over if you just go back to eating ‘normal’ you regain it way faster? This is the body’s self defense system at work.
This is also why yo-yo dieting is just about the worst thing you can do. You lose weight, then rapidly regain it, only to lose it again, and so on and so forth.
The problem with this is, several research studies have demonstrated that each time you try to diet down during a yo-yo diet cycle, it becomes more and more difficult to lose weight. Not only that but each time you regain, you tend to regain fasterthan before.
This is because each time you diet you are triggering this self defense system. The more times you diet improperly and the more drastic the diet, the more severely this system will be triggered.
This is why my ebook ‘Fat Loss Forever’ spent so many chapters discussing the pitfalls of yo-yo and fad dieting and also described ways to combat the self defense system by properly structuring your nutritional strategies and properly planning them.
Sustained weight loss is POSSIBLE but only if you commit to making whatever nutritional strategy you use a LIFESTYLE and don’t get caught up in fad diets. Focus on consistency, adherence, and sustainability and don’t fall for the hype of the flavor of the month fad diet. IF IT SOUNDS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE… IT IS. Above all work hard, be tenacious, be persistent, and NEVER QUIT.
Make 2019 your bitch
Article by Dr. Layne Norton
Layne Norton is a Scientist, pro natural bodybuilder, raw elite powerlifter, physique coach. He not only holds a BS in Biochemistry but is well know for hisPhD in Nutritional Sciences. Layne is also a wellrenound powerlifter with a current IPF and USAPL world and national record in squat: 668 lb. At 93 kg and USAPL national record in deadlift: 711 lb. At 93 kg.