Long Term … Diets Don’t Work For Weight Loss
Over 45 million Americans go on diets each year and they do produce initial results, regardless of which one. For the most part, they all lead to weight loss and lowered blood pressure, but these desired results generally go away after a year or so.
A study which followed almost 30 long-term weight loss studies, showed that more than half of the lost weight returned within 2 years, and by 5 years, more than 80 percent of lost weight was regained.
People who are interested in losing weight, and keeping it off, need a more sustainable plan than simply going on a diet.
Why Are Diets Only A Short Term Solution?
Usually when someone begins a diet, they immediately see weight loss, especially if they’re motivated and stay to that diet for an extended amount of time. But slowly, as the body loses weight, their metabolism begins to slows down and people forget to make adjustments to their other behaviors – which is usually smaller portions of food and choosing healthier options, along with exercise.
People start out on a diet, and they’re excited, and it’s easy to meal prep and purchase healthy alternatives to what they would normally choose. As time goes by, their old habits start to take over again – and that’s where the change needs to take place.
You could call it the psychology of food. There are coaching programs and apps like Noom that attempt to address what is really a lifestyle change – as it relates to food and exercise. One of the biggest things that experts see with people looking to lose or maintain weight is exercise. Restricting your calorie intake is good, but to keep it off, physical activity is usually needed to increase metabolism and create lean body mass.
Many people recommend a rule of 50-25-25, where 50 percent of each meal is vegetables, 25 percent is lean protein, and 25 percent is high fiber carbs. If people would follow this simple rule, forgetting weight loss, you’ll feel better and your blood sugar will be balanced, which is helpful in weight management. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a sweet snack now and then – but you have to stop gorging on them – which are old habits that need to be changed. This becomes easier as your body adjusts to proper nutrition.
There are other recommendations for staying healthy, weight loss or not, which include:
- Proper rest – 8 hours of sleep per night
- 64 to 80 ounces of water per day
- 150 minutes of exercise per week