You Must Be Real on Your Way to Ideal
Very low calorie diets (VLCD)—which require you to consume just a few hundred calories
daily, for weeks—can certainly result in significant weight loss. But the costs
are high. Such diets do not teach your body to be satisfied with reasonable
quantities of food. Rather, they tell your body you’re starving. By forcing
your metabolism into survival mode, you set yourself up for rebound weight
gain, or worse.
Starving yourself is not the right way to lose weight. If
you want to keep the weight off you simply must
eat a balanced diet. This would exclude any diet that requires you to nearly
eliminate an entire food group. About a decade ago, the low-carbohydrate diet
craze swept the country. In case you missed it, this “low-carb” diet
essentially banned carbohydrates, while encouraging high intakes of protein.
Some people may have lost weight on this diet, but many experts agreed that it
was ultimately unhealthy. People were eating high amounts of fat—especially
saturated fat—from meats like bacon. And that simply wasn’t healthy. Some dieter’s
cholesterol levels soared, while others experienced kidney and other problems.
In fact, a recent study looked at two types of diets featuring “acute calorie
restriction”. One was low fat/high carbohydrate, while the other was high
fat/low carbohydrate. Although subjects lost weight on both of these
calorie-restricted diets, the diet that featured low carbs and high fat
encouraged insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition that often
precedes type 2 diabetes. In contrast, the high carb/low fat diet led to
improved insulin sensitivity.
I think this illustrates my point that diets that banish certain nutrients—in this case
carbohydrates—are simply not healthy in the long run, regardless of any
temporary weight loss you might achieve. You’ve got to be real on your way to
Wang CC, Adochio RL, Leitner JW, Abeyta IM, Draznin B, Cornier MA. Acute effects of
different diet compositions on skeletal muscle insulin signalling in obese
individuals during caloric restriction. Metabolism.
2012 Nov 19. pii: S0026-0495(12)00402-7. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2012.10.010.
[Epub ahead of print]