Crash Dieting & The Rebound Effect

This is seen all too often. There have been numerous studies over the years to suggest that the problem with people is not losing weight. This is something that we are all capable of. But the research tell us that its keeping the weight off that's the issue.

Some studies have proven that up to 90% of the people who lost weight not only regained it, but actually ended up gaining more than originally measured. That leaves us with a 10% success rate.

However if you seek rapid weight loss then you could be doing more harm than good. Rapid weight loss and in particular losing a lot of lean body mass could have massive effects on the metabolism. Lean mass which is everything bar fat (muscle, water, skin, hair, organs etc) is very metabolically active and so by losing it you slow down your metabolism (which is the conversion of food to energy)

Add to this your new lighter weight will now make you less active, and you weigh less therefore your calorie output will become less. Finally training will be affected, your performance (output) may be reduced and your body will become more efficient, meaning that it will burn less calories as you exercise.

This is putting you in the worst position possible for when you begin to start eating again.

Your hunger hormone kicks in and all the signals in the body want you to eat in this time of starvation. By dieting the signal to tell you when your full is not working and so the overfeeding starts. Remember all that lean mass you’ve lost too at the start. Well your body wants that back. You will continue to eat until all this lean mass is gained and (hunger) signals are repaired. This unfortunately could take you WELL BEYOND YOUR ORIGINAL STARTING WEIGHT.

As you continue to eat past your starting weight, fat cells will increase in number. Even though they may be smaller in size due to dieting, they could well of multiplied and now start filling up. This is known as the rebound effect from dieting.

But there is hope. If we use sustainable methods then we can keep the weight off. Diet plans consisting of flexible eating habits, diet breaks, “free” foods, refeeds, spending times eating at maintenance and even at a surplus at certain parts of your diet have all been proven to work for creating long term fat loss.

The saying ‘slow and steady wins the race’ is not that far from the truth. Remember keep protein intake as high as possible to keep as much of that lean mass as you can! Add to this a consistent resistance training plan to alter your body composition and keep you as active as possible and your on the right lines to success.

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