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Why Are Restrictive Diets Ineffective?

As summer approaches, many people may be tempted by diets and products promising quick and easy weight loss. However, it’s been proven that 95% of people will gain back the lost weight, if not more, in the following five years.

Yet, we’ve all felt inspired at some point by someone we know who’s had spectacular results and is bursting with energy since starting a new fad diet, and think, “Maybe this time it’ll really work?” What makes diets fail?

Part of the answer is psychological. Restriction, which means consciously limiting or controlling food choices and intake to maintain or lose weight, tends to make us classify foods in two categories: good, and bad. Restriction usually goes through five phases.

Phases of Restriction

Honeymoon: We follow the diet to the letter. Everything goes according to plan, we feel great, and results begin to show.

Perseverance: Things are still generally smooth, except for a few exceptions that bring feelings of guilt, but we compensate by exercising more.

Stress: Sticking to servings becomes more and more difficult. We often, even continually, think about food. When is the next meal? What are we going to eat? How to survive an evening out at the restaurant without cheating? When we give in to temptation, we swear it’s the last time we give in to that particular food.

Loss of control: We still follow the plan, but sometimes indulge in “authorized” food. Still, we try to calculate our way out of it to maintain a calorie deficit.

Bingeing: We give up and let ourselves go. We feel guilty and have a hard time to stop eating. When we start to eat large quantities again, we gain weight and lose self-esteem.

In short, restriction leads to excess. Healthy life habits, including physical activity and a balanced nutrition are the best way to get back to and maintain a healthy weight.

By Marie-Christine Morin P. Dt.

Marie-Christine Morin

A graduate of the University of Montreal, Marie-Christine holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and is a nutritionist at Nautilus Plus since 2015. Her interest in nutrition was triggered by a particularly difficult period in her life and decided to take her health into her own hands. And so the fascination began for all that encompasses a healthy lifestyle: nutrition, stress management, mental wellbeing, physical activity, etc. Her goal is to help people adopt healthier lifestyles and find that balance that appeals to them. During her sessions, she uses psychological science as well as food awareness to help motivate people. She is a mother of 2, she is interested in children’s nutrition, developing both a healthy body image and a healthy relationship with food. She works out regularly at the Nautilus Plus center where she works and enjoys weight training and CrossFit-type workouts. She also practices yoga. Marie-Christine Morin, Dt.P.

Why Are Restrictive Diets Ineffective? is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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