Don't Diet Unless You Want To Lose Just A Few Kilos

The social function of eating is one of the most potent cultural symbols that humanity has developed over centuries. Eating brings people together. Eating can stimulate social bonding and may ease interpersonal differences.

Social gatherings and traditions often include shared meals around the table. Also, food preferences and eating habits can indicate some sort of pervasive social differentiation. For instance, if an overweight person wants to join into a fitted social group, most probably he/she will tend to trim some weight by dieting beforehand to increase the odds of being accepted. That’s alright if you are planning to lose just a few kilos but, in the long run dieting may the wrong approach because usually the lost weight is rapidly gained back; this is often the rule than the exception. It is well documented that diets work fine for a month and even a year but all of them, at the end, will stop working.

The Yo-Yo effect also called “rebound weight gain” or “take-back” effect refers to a voluntary weight loss followed by an immediate recovery of the lost weight and dieters usually end up weighing more than they did before beginning the diet.

For overweight people the idea of dieting is amazingly attractive and they feel that they have a worthy strategy to start as soon as the next day. As Geneen Roth stated in her book “When you Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull up a Chair”: “At the beginning of dieting one feels an enormous impulse of hope, inspiration, energy, and willingness”. Early enough, I will be able to wear that dress or pants that I love, you may reckon. However, you will soon realize that the forbidden things are more compelling and sooner than later we will break the auto imposed restrictions.

On the other hand, diets have a connotation of being provisional. People maybe on a diet right now but once their weight loss targets are achieved the diet will be immediately ceased because they had not been trying to change neither their eating habits nor their life styles.

Contrary to popular belief, a drastic reduction of calories may not promote fat loses exclusively, it can induce muscle and water losses. Normally, when you take back your weight, you gain even more fat than you lost in the first place. This is the reason why you also need to exercise regularly with moderation.

Lean body tissue, such as muscle, has a faster metabolic rate than fat tissue. When you exercise with moderation, fat depots are predominantly mobilized and the metabolism burns more calories. Additionally, if this aerobic training is performed in combination with strength exercise will help build up muscle tissue and strengthen heart and lung capacities.

It has been shown that about 70% rate of success in maintaining a healthy weight will depend on what we eat and 30% is related to physical activity, which by the way, doesn’t have to be a strenuous one.

Citing again to Geneen Roth: “Changes in the long run will result only from being kind and curious toward ourselves; not from punishment or dietary restrictions. At the end, It will emerge from the willingness to act on behalf of our own health.”

According to the World Health Organization (2014), there are more than 347 millions people with diabetes all over the world. Ninety percent of those cases are classified as diabetes Type 2 whose cause is associated with overweight and lack of physical activity. Our responsibility and goal must be to prevent this epidemic.


About the author

Dr. Maritza Bendayan

Dr. Maritza Bendayan

Clinical psychologist with a specialization in Cognitive Psychotherapy. Maritza has more that 30 years of experience as part of a multidisciplinary team for the management of conduct, development and Child neurology; Endocrine-Pediatrics and Diabetes Obesity.

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