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How to Lose Weight Without Dieting

It’s official: Diets don’t work. Here’s a weight loss strategy that does.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
November 16, 2011
Episode #163

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The multi-billion weight loss industry has a dirty little secret: Dieting doesn’t work. To be sure, almost any diet out there will produce weight loss if you follow the rules.  Some of them will even produce very quick, dramatic weight loss. However, the majority of people who lose weight on diets will eventually gain it all back. Often, with interest.

Don’t despair: I do have a solution!

But first, let’s take a quick look at why diets are doomed to fail.

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Dieting Triggers Hormonal Changes That Lead to Weight Gain

Much has been made over a recent study which found that dieting—especially the kind of dieting that produces rapid weight loss—messes with your body chemistry in ways that make it extremely difficult to maintain that hard-won weight loss.

First, the study found that losing weight triggers changes in hormones that rev up your appetite.  Obviously, that’s not helpful. Secondly, the study confirmed that sustained calorie restriction lowers your metabolism so that you burn fewer calories as you go about your daily activities. This lowered metabolism can continue for a year--or even longer--after the dieting stops.

Before you get too worked up about the metabolism thing, though, there’s another reality that has a much bigger impact on people who have lost a significant amount of weight. A smaller body requires fewer calories. That means that if you want to spend the rest of your life in a smaller body than the one you’ve got right now, you will need to spend the rest of your life eating less than you do now.

(Before you shoot the messenger, let me point out that I didn’t say you will spend the rest of your life hungry.)

Diets Stop Working When You Stop Dieting

The other reason that diets almost always fail is that they are temporary solutions to a permanent challenge.

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