My guess is that Americans probably diet more than any other nation in history. Several social economic reasons for this that I'll skip over to cut through the chase. Even our pets are on 'diet food' for crying out loud!
The classic diet demands a cutting of calories. This is often advised by an increase in activity. Now the body is prepared for a double whammy in calorie deficit. If you are like most people, a lower number on the scale means success because after all, the idea is to loose weight, right?
Only many folks really have obscure ideas as to the composition of the weight they are losing. Is it fat, water, muscle? How much of each is being sacrificed?
Dear friends, keep in mind that God designed our bodies to kick in an overdrive system that works quite well in times of need. It called SURVIVAL. When this system is called upon, your metabolism slams on the breaks. Why? To keep YOU alive!
When the body perceives restriction on nutrients, i.e. diet this is exactly what happens. Take for example a 2500Kcal daily person needs to loose 15 pounds. Well, they begin a daily 2000kcal 'diet' plus maybe an extra minus 300 for exercise added. This fellow finds themselves losing weight. Lots of weight intially because the first thing to go is excess water. This is due to the reduction of glycogen in the muscles (bad) to to a lower carbohydrate intake. Glycogen is very water friendly folks. Again, God had our best interest in mind when he created us. The next most likely weight to be lost is muscle. Why? Because your body knows that this is the most metabolically active tissue, and your body is naturally going to try to slow the metabolism down. This is one of its efforts. Remember, your body does not know if you are lost in the desert, or home 'dieting', and sweatin' to the oldies with Richard Simmons. Fat loss is the last component your body looks to lose when dieting.
After several weeks go by we have the typical weight loss diet results. With enough will power our subject has lost his 15 pounds. 15 pounds of what remains undetermined to our unsuspecting subject at hand, but nonetheless the pants size is smaller.
Usually when people diet they get great results the first couple of weeks then they see things change. Sometimes even gain a pound or two. Answer? You betcha! Diet even more. Restrict the calories to the point where progress will resume. Now our subject who went from 2500kcal a day to 1700kcal a day is around 1200kcal a day to pick up the rewards of weight loss noted earlier in the scheme. Guess what? Progress resumes! But is it really progress? The scale says so.
Now the subject reaches his goal. however, his body is used to 1200kcal's a day. Not only that, but several positive metabolic factors have been sabotaged.
So he is left with a choice to keep the weight off. Remain at the 1200kcal restriction and eat like a bird the rest of his life or resume a sensable calorie intake (2000-2500kcal's). I submit to you the majority choose the later. After all this is America. Home of the free, the brave, and let's not forget...FAT! Only one problem. The metabolism will be significantly lower before he had even began the diet. Which means, you guessed it sports fans - weight gain plus a little extra. Dissapointment reigns supreme once the weight is back on plus a little extra, but no fear. You can always go on another DIET.
Stay tuned for solutions.