From Dieting to Empowerment
Did you know that at any given time over 40 million Americans are on some sort of “diet” program?
As crazy as it seems, for all our efforts, obesity, diabetes and other chronic illnesses are on the rise. Since blood sugar control has so much to do with food, it is a normal response to think the best thing to do would be to go on one of the popular diets out there. BUT, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Unfortunately what we are doing as a nation to fight obesity, diabetes and chronic illness isn’t working either. There are many reasons for this, and “dieting" is one of them.
Below are some of the key reasons why going on a diet is not a helpful option to control blood sugars, avoid or manage diabetes:
Diets are temporary: Most diets do not teach you how to eat for the life. Instead, they offer you a quick fix that is not attainable over the long term.
Diets distort your relationship with food: Very importantly, diets teach you not to listen to your body. Instead, they instruct you to follow rigid menus, count calories, measure your food, and in general to ignore your hunger with will power.
Diets lead to boredom and frustration: People often get bored or frustrated on diets and begin to cheat “just a little” and then soon abandon the diet.
When you diet you are likely to lose muscle and gain body fat: When you go back to your old habits, you will gain back the muscle you’ve lost as body fat.
Dieting affects metabolism and puts you in fat storage mode:
When you crash diet or cut calories drastically, you are temporarily slowing down your metabolism.
This is because, when you eat less food than you need to maintain your weight, your brain thinks that you are starving and that you are going to die.
Your brain misreads the lack of food as a life threatening time of famine. Y
Our brain goes on red alert. It sends a message to your thyroid to slow down metabolism and conserve energy until food is plentiful again, thereby putting your body in a fat storage mode.
Dieting affects muscle loss and the ability to burn fat.
When you subject yourself to artificial famine, your body considers itself to be under stress and the hormone cortisol is released in response.
The function of cortisol is to quickly break down available sugars, dietary fats and dietary proteins in order to supply energy and spare fat stores for later use.
If there is no supply of protein available, cortisol will take it from other tissues, causing muscle loss.
Because fat is burned within our muscle cells for energy, studies show that losing even one ounce of muscle mass lowers the body’s ability to create energy and reduces your fat burning ability.
Ultimately, if old eating habits return, you gain back the muscle you’ve lost as body fat, which is why yo-yo dieters tend to gain more weight after each successive diet.
Dieting can result in a “double whammy” if you eat highly refined foods that put you in fat storage mode:
We have learned that eating highly processed foods results in blood glucose spikes with a corresponding spike in insulin, and excess insulin throws your metabolic switch into fat storage mode.
The combination of stress/starvation mode + high glycemic carbohydrates, results in more fat storage with a decreased ability to lose weight while high cortisol levels diminish your ability to burn fat.
Diets don’t address the roadblocks that sabotage you:
Including a natural desire for sweets, physical cravings & emotional eating. Failing to eliminate these roadblocks leaves you feeling frustrated and unable to stick to a plan