Friday, August 12, 2011

Does dieting make you fat?

The overweight and obesity epidemic is a worldwide problem. Obesity rates in Australia have more than doubled over the past 20 years. According to Fitness Australia over 7 million adults are jeopardizing their health by excessive weight. As a result children are following their parents examples and it is estimated that over one in 5 children are obese. The rates of overweight and obesity are rapidly increasing and it is estimated that, at the current rate of increase, about 75 per cent of the Australian population will be overweight or obese by 2020.

It seems like a contradiction: Diet and you'll get fatter. The problem is not with the dieting itself, but how you approach it. When it comes to dieting, most people fail. In fact, up to 95 percent of people who go on a diet regain all the weight they lost. Our bodies are programmed to understand hunger signals and not to diet. When you deprive your body of food, it will get the message that there's a risk of starvation. As a result, your hunger will increase and your metabolism will slow down to compensate for it. Once you get off the diet, your mind will go into overdrive and make you want to eat more to make up for the deprivation you just suffered. This is your body's way of preparing for possible famine. As a result, you might end up eating more than you did before the diet, to soothe both your emotions and your body. Also, by trying to lose large amounts of weight quickly, you throw your body into disarray. This might cause weight loss but it's likely to be a temporary solution. This means that once you go back to your regular eating habits, you're more likely to regain this weight back. More than 60 percent of dieters regain all the weight lost within a year of giving up their diets. Within five years, almost all dieters are back to their original weight.

Instead of focusing on instant gratification, the key to permanent weight loss is to think long-term. For example, choosing to eat whole grains instead of highly processed carbohydrates (fast food) is a healthy choice that will pay off over time: you'll be healthier, gain energy and lose weight. The key to successful weight loss is making changes in your eating and physical activity habits that you can keep up for the rest of your life

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