Do Diets Really Just Make You Fatter?
Obesity has reached an epidemic proportions worldwide as about 13% of the world’s adult population has obesity, and this number increases to 35% in the United States.
And surprisingly, some evidence as soon that weight loss diets don’t work in the long term and may actually lead to weight gain.
Regular dieters seems to lose weight at the initial stage when they take diets to lose weight but will later bounce back and gain weight some time.
And dubbed yo-yo dieting is linked with changes in the body metabolism which make majority of calorie-based diets unsuccessful.
But what actually causes these metabolic changes is still a mystery till date. And some research in identical twins that are differed in dieting patterns have proven that non-genetic factors are largely responsible.
And study shows that 5 years after a group of women lost weight during a 6-month weight loss program, they weighed 7.9 pounds (3.6 kg) more than their starting weight on average.
But do you know that your body does all it can to get back to that new higher set point.
Also new research published in Nature, goes on to explains the reason this happens to some individuals more than others. And more importantly, how it could be change.
Similarly, a study, by Israeli group of scientists, imitate human yo-yo dieters in lab mice. And the scientists fed the mice in different cycles by alternating weight gaining and losing diets.
Though a small percentage of people manage to lose weight and keep it off, most people regain all or a portion of the weight they lost, and some gain back even more.
And starting with big, high-fat portions just to fatten the mice up then slimmed them down with a normal diet, light meals, then repeated the regime. The mice gained weight slowly compared to other mice on steady diets of similar calories and even the one on continuous high-fat diets.
And it was noticed that mice that bounced back and increased weight regain after dieting only had a lower energy than the one on steady diets but still ate the same quantity of food.
Change in body metabolism usually occurs in yo-yo dieters.
The new study has tried to found out why by focusing at an organ of the body that have been forgotten.
Everything You Need to Know About the Keto Diet
This organ in the human body weighs nearly the same as the liver which is located in the lower intestines.
And the organ is the microbiome which is the community of microbes that outnumber the body cells they have a hundred-fold more enzymes.
But this genes are capable of digesting food and regulating our immune systems and the body metabolism.
Also, it was discovered that changes to the gut microbes were majorly responsible.
when compared to the normal ones, there a noticeable differences in the gut microbes of the yo-yo dieting mice.
And it includes a reduction in diversity. That is correlated with obesity and also other metabolic problems in our body.
These disordered microbes were transplanted from the weight re-gainers into the normal mice on normal diets.
And they saw them gain weight which indicated that the altered microbes were mainly responsible.
The scientists could explain how microbes caused weight gain by checking how they digested the plant fibre in their staple diet.
So, the scientists observed that the altered microbes were under-producing healthy compounds generated from the plants which are called polyphenols (flavonoids) in the gut after dieting.
Polyphenols are important in a healthy gut and the main reason why many brightly-coloured foods are gut friendly.
In fact, the taking poyphenols has been linked with better health and less obesity, and the result of this is that, since microbes are involved, the changes post-diet are potentially correctable.
Chronic Dieting And Weight Gain
Majority of people who frequently diet end up gaining weight in the long term instead of achieving weight loss. And
And study has found that in 15 out of 20 studies of people without obesity, recent dieting behavior predicted weight gain over time.
Of course, the key factor that contributes to regain in people with less weight is an increase in appetite hormones.
Our body boosts its production of these hunger-inducing hormones when it senses it has lost fat and muscle .
Also, calorie restriction and loss of muscle mass may cause your body’s metabolism to slow down, making it easier to regain weight once you return to your usual eating pattern.
And research has showed that when men with less weight observe a diet providing 50% of their calorie needs for 3 weeks, they started burning 255 fewer calories each day.
While many women first go on a diet in their early teen or preteen years. And many studies shows that dieting during adolescence is associated with an increased risk of developing overweight, obesity or disordered eating in the future.
Some other research have revealed that teens that dieted were twice as more likely to become overweight than non-dieting teens, regardless of their starting weight.
Even though genetics play a key role in weight gain, but studies on identical twins have shown that dieting behavior may be just as important.
So, instead of producing lasting weight loss, dieting among people who don’t have obesity is associated with an increased risk of gaining weight and developing obesity over time.
Avoiding The Yo-Yo Dieting Trap
The scientists tried a number of different ways to reduce the weight gain in the mice that are on yo-yo dieting.
So, they first gave the mice antibiotics that altered the microbes and increased polyphenol levels.
This fix the problem, but isn’t exactly a practical solution for the human body. They also tried fecal transplants that also worked, these are a bit drastic in human body.
They tried to change some of these specific polyphenols through supplementation in the diet which could reduce the weight gain.
So, the lessons from the above for humans is that episodic weight loss can be really dangerous metabolically, damaging your microbes and making you burn less energy.
The way out is to look after your microbes as you change back onto normal foods after your diet regimen.
Please note that, you need a good healthy plan and dieting foods, feed on plenty of polyphenol.
And fibre-rich foods, as well as the known fruit and veg, include seeds, nuts, olive oil (extra virgin), dark chocolate, coffee.
Also a glass of red wine which is good for a healthy heart.
What To Do About It
Here is the real deal, if you actually want to loss weigh long term, the best approach is to avoid crash diets and calorie counting altogether, that are doomed to fail.
And rather eat real variety of food, plenty of fibre, good dieting plans and allow your microbes take care of the rest.
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