How A Fat Loss Diet Could Make You Fat

Although fat-loss diets can work very well, the weight can come back with a vengeance.

I’m sure you have heard the saying ‘burn more calories than you consume and you will lose fat’ or people may also add ‘it’s that simple!’ and that the first law of thermodynamics applies to make it sound scientifically definite.

There are plenty of people out there however who burn a lot and eat a little and follow a fat loss diet with little to show for it. The more someone cuts back, the less they have to show for it and as a another annoyance.

If they do slip up and start eating like they used to they usually gain back more weight than before, the old adage is not working for people, it is time for a new way of fat loss, let’s take a look at why the old one doesn’t work.

It Is All About Efficiency

Metabolism is used quite a lot and people think of it as something easily manipulated like changing the radio volume etc. It is said that if you raise your metabolism and burn fat, lower it and you gain fat, this isn’t what is actually going on in the body.

All of us have something called a ‘body fat set-point’ which is the body fat level the body is used and what it will attempt to maintain. Five different people may have 5 different set points based on genetics, activity level and lifetime nutritional habits, no matter the set point, the body wants to keep you there as long as it can.

All of these foods can help you lose weight but calorie restriction must be done correctly for long-term success.

If you drop calories very quickly, your body will adapt to minimise fat loss, consuming excess calories will cause the body to adjust to make weight gain harder, the adaptations are made through changes in your metabolism.

When trying to lose weight you may find the first few pounds come off pretty easily as it catches your body off guard but progress will quickly slow down. All the while your body will be thinking that you are drifting away from your set point so will respond by making it harder to burn calories.

This happens because the further you get below your set point, the more efficient your body’s energy systems become. The mitochondria, your body’s cellular energy systems becomes able to generate more energy and thus more mileage.

This increase in efficiency has several effects. Your basal metabolic rate is lowered and the amount of energy spent during exercise is reduced and even the thermic effect of food or the calories used to break down nutrients decreases. The further you get below your bodyfat set-point, the more efficient you get. You will more often than not, push yourself down into caloric deprivation, say a second, third or fourth dieting cycle will reinforce this efficiency.

Other changes will also happen when you lose weight. Your fat cells shrink and then secrete small amounts of leptin, a hormone that tells you when you are full. The interesting thing about leptin is that studies have shown that your levels drop much more than they should which is based on how much fat you lose, they will also stay low even after your weight stabilises.

Basically your body over does it so you will hardly ever feel full or satiated. As the fullness hormone decreases, ghrelin, a hunger hormone increases.

Fewer calories burned, more hunger and less satisfaction, this is a bad recipe for weight gain and binging.

Weight loss diets can be very effective at first but may get you back later on.

Set Points Revenge

I’m sure you know of the physique competitor who goes out to eat and puts on 15 pounds by morning, this may seem cliche but there is some truth in it. Putting together a lowered metabolic rate from a very low-calorie diet with an unrestricted binge, this can lead to several pounds worth of weight gain in a short time.

The size and amount of fat cells help determine your body fat set point. When refeeding deprivation you gain back some of the weight you lost, the fat cells that previously shrank swell back up to their former size, this in theory should tell you that order has been restored and everything is ok.

Studies with rats have found that rapid weight regain actually creates new small fat cells as well.

These new fat cells can really create problems, the more you have, the smaller the average fat cell size becomes, this as well as your reduced Leptin output from a long-time of hardcore dieting tells the body that it is still below it’s body fat set point.

Increased insulin sensitivity of fat cells from weight loss and dieting can increase nutrient storage in adipose tissue. Thinking about all of this, your body fat set-point has actually gone up, your body now wants you to be fatter than you were befoe you dieted.

Those goals are always achievable with a regular nutritional plan.

This Is Not The Whole Story

This phenomenon is known as ‘body fat overshooting’ and happens to around a third of dieters. There is also links to the number of times an individual diets and the amount of weight gained over his or her life.

Sadly, many dieters find themselves asking ‘what the hell is going on with my body?’, the process is exactly the same, whether you are an average Joe or a top elite fitness model.

You may feel like all hope is low with a fat loss diet but the truth is it is not!. You can actually move your body fat set point downwards by regularly following a few good nutritional strategies.

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