Last week, a friend was griping about how their weight loss and ground to a halt. I talked to them a bit about it, but then I came across someone in a group I’m in on Facebook talking about hitting plateaus with their weight loss, and I figured it was time to talk about why diets “fail.”
First, let’s understand something. What most people call “diets” are really diet protocols. They’re sets of rules that we adopt in an effort to create a nutritional framework so we can achieve our goals.
Yet I’m going to let you in on something a lot of people will disagree with me on. That tidbit is that pretty much all diet protocols work.
My reverse diet was born out of necessity. Mostly because I was stupid.
Now, however, it’s an interesting experience for me and provides me with some useful information on my own weight loss. You see, while I was maintaining ridiculously low calories, I wasn’t losing much in the way of weight. Not really.
I went into what I discovered about my eating previously. While I said I wasn’t worried about the scale, that wasn’t completely true. I’m trying to lose weight, after all, so of course, I’m worried about it.
Sometimes, food and diet is a weird and tricky thing. A great example is eggs. We keep getting conflicting information as to whether eggs are good for us or bad for us. People are confused about them and it’s hard to blame folks.
But it also seems that chocolate cake, something often maligned as bad for us may actually turn out to be healthy. Let’s talk about why.
A lot of times, when someone is first starting to try and combat their weight, they take to the internet and look up their ideal weight. They want to know just what they’re supposed to weigh for their height.
After all, don’t doctors use this? Isn’t this closely tied to the Body Mass Index (BMI)?
To some extent, that’s true. But focusing on your ideal weight can be dangerous at the end of the day.
What is “metabolic damage?” That may be what you’re asking right now. I get it.
Metabolic damage is a term used to describe a series of metabolic adaptations to dieting. In particular, adaptations which drive caloric requirements well below typical maintenance levels for a given body weight.
Some people don’t think it’s a real thing. I tend to disagree.
Because I’m pretty sure I’m suffering from metabolic damage right now.
Last night, I had a friend ask about managing things like weight loss and stress. It seems that he can cut out carbs and respond very well. However, he says he “self-sabotages” and ends up killing his progress.
In particular, he was looking for “rules” to manage his “cheats.” These are almost universally found to take place in most folks when they’re really stressed.
I touched on a few things, then told him I’d delve into it deeper here. The reason is that it was late and I was tired, but also because I thought others might just have the same issues.
Something that’s happened to me, and I’ve noticed it in some others, is that while engaged in weight training, weight loss seems to slow to a trickle. This is upsetting for many, and for good reason. If your goal is to lose weight, do you really want to lift and slow your progress?
Of course you should, despite the slowed progress. Here’s why.
Losing weight may well be the most popular dream in the country right now.
I say it’s a dream only because so few people take any concrete steps along the way. When you ask them, they’ll make any number of comments, but for a lot, it really boils down to how they can manage their sweet tooth while trying to lose weight.
I get it.
Part of the allure of flexible dieting was the fact that I didn’t have to completely ignore sweets if I wanted them. While I don’t have a major sweet tooth, there are times I like a good treat. Who doesn’t?
But that means finding a way to make it work. Here are my suggestions.