I decided to write a part II to the “Undiet” Blog I posted last month. I wanted to share with you what can happen to your body if you continuously diet in a way that leads you omitting food groups or depriving yourself. As we’ve discussed, this can lead to binging, excess weight gain, and stubborn fat cells.
A lean adult has about 40 billion fat cells and an obese adult has at least two to three times that amount and they are larger than in someone who is lean. People often think that you eliminate fat cells, but truth is the number of fat cells in your body stays the same; they either fill or shrink based on diet and exercise. The next time you consider binge eating and then going on a diet to lose weight remember this: you can grow fat cells from chronic overeating and once you have them, they are yours for life!
The common thought process is to go through extreme dieting and excessive exercise to lose unwanted weight. This may work for the first few cycles, however, time after time the weight loss becomes more difficult to lose which can leave you feeling frustrated and devastated.
Here is why this happens to your body when you chronically diet, binge and try to exercise the unwanted weight.
The word “diet” causes a physiological response in the body.
The body responds negatively to the word or even just the thought of the word “diet” and the body prepares for survival from starvation. The more you diet, the more the the body sees dieting as life threatening.
The body’s response to chronic dieting is to increase the hormone that stores body fat “lipogenic” and the body becomes more and more efficient at storing body fat and enlarging the fat cells and the result is weight gain (lipogenesis). The fat releasing enzymes “lipolytic” start to decrease making it harder and harder to lose weight or take fat out of the fat cells (lipolysis), no weight loss.
As mentioned earlier, the first time you go on a diet, the body’s ability of lipolysis (fat burning) is successful, but after your first diet your body produces more lipogenic (fat storing enzymes) making the next and the and the next diet less and less successful. Unrealistic restrictive diets can’t be sustained which is why chronic dieting does not work.
This first illustration from “Outsmarting the Female Fat Cells” (OSFFC), by Debora Waterhouse, shows the difference between men and women and their ability to take fat out of their fat cells. Women burn less fat then men by nature. Keep that in mind the next time you go on a diet with your man!
The Second illustration shows that women have a certain number of fat storing enzymes before dieting and almost twice as many fat storing enzymes after just one diet.
This final illustration simplifies that after multiple diets, your fat storing enzymes can be tripled which makes it more and more difficult to lose weight!
What I love about “OSFFC” is that Waterhouse simplifies why dieting doesn’t work, teaches you how to eat to the point of being moderately full to help turn off the female fat cells for good!
The key to “Outsmarting” the Female Fat Cells is to find a balanced “lifestyle” approach to healthy eating and nutrition. What I recommend is to never say or even think diet, when those words or thoughts occur, the body has a responsibility to act in a way of survival and do all I have previously described, (store more/extra fat and decrease the enzymes that take fat out of the fat cells). So, by rethinking eating as a lifestyle instead of a diet (restricting calories or eliminating foods), this physiological response diminishes. This allows the body to naturally balance, moderate hunger (decrease people’s obsessive hungry), and balances hormone release, so people can stop gaining and losing unnecessary weight.
Try these strategies as well as following my next Blog “Healthy Nutrition on the Go” to help balance your lifestyle.