Vancouver Sun Article: Why Diets Don't Work


‘Tis the season for fad diets and cleanses.  Most of us have learned the hard way that diets don’t work.  A recent study published in the journal of Obesity by Kevin Hall, explains the physiology behind this frustrating experience.  So, before you “jumpstart” your New Year with the latest fad diet, you may want to understand why your body will always try to make you regain weight after a diet.   

This study monitored contestants from “The Biggest Loser” reality TV show, for six years after the show ended.  The 14 participants had each lost about 130lbs on the show and six years later, most of them had regained almost all the weight back.  They all endured hours of gruelling daily workouts to ensure they maintained their muscle mass.  Yet, their bodies responded to the strict diet by lowering their metabolisms by 600 Calories per day.  The researchers were shocked to discover that the participants’ metabolisms continued to remain suppressed six years later, despite keeping the same exercise regime. 

This study demonstrates one important fact: weight loss diets lower your metabolism, sometimes permanently.  A slower metabolism means that you burn fewer Calories and will gain weight easily when you return to your usual eating habits.  Dieting also triggers powerful food cravings and binge eating. 

So, if you are thinking about starting a diet and you are not prepared to follow it for the rest of your life, the temporary weight loss will soon return.  Rather than turning to diets that restrict certain foods, we should be thinking of eating and exercise as a lifestyle change that we can live with long term.  Try moderate changes that fit with your life.  Eat regular meals, enjoy a variety of foods and listen to your appetite. Read the full article here.

Scroll to Top