There are a few reasons why recommendations of how to improve your diet for weight have failed. Again, none of these failures was your fault. You were simply given incorrect information about how to improve your diet to lose or maintain your weight. Here are a few of the most important ones.
1. You need to consciously restrict your calories to lose weight.
Many studies show this is absolutely wrong. Your body regulates your calorie intake and output around your setpoint weight. Your setpoint weight is the level of fat your body thinks you should have based upon information from your brain, digestive system, and hormones. When the system functions properly, your body will burn more when you eat more. This ensures you can never become too fat or too thin.
But if the hormonal system becomes clogged, the hormones cannot send or receive proper messages. Your body doesn’t know how much fat you need, so it gives you more. Your setpoint weight goes up, and this is the weight your body will try to maintain no matter how hard you try to lose weight.
Cutting calories only causes your body to hold onto your fat, and it slows your metabolism. You’ll lose weight short term with a crash diet, but few people keep the weight off because of their elevated setpoint weight. The only way you can lose weight long term is to lower your setpoint weight. Then your body will fight to keep your weight at your lower setpoint weight.
2. A calorie is the same as any other calorie.
This is also incorrect. Calories have different effects on your body depending upon the foods from which they come. Starchy carbs, for instance, are easily stored as fat. Fiber and protein are impossible to store as fat. It also takes more calories to digest protein than any other macronutrient.
The body also digests sugar differently. In fact, studies show sugar raises setpoint weight even if it is consumed within the bounds of a calorie-restricted diet. So, the “experts” who told you that you could eat anything as long as you stayed within a certain total number of calorie per day is totally responsible for that failure.
3. You must concentrate on losing weight.
Concentrating on losing weight causes stress, triggering a release of cortisol, which triggers a release of insulin. This causes weight gain and prevents weight loss. The best way to lose weight is to let your body handle the details. You don’t have to do anything but eat delicious healthy foods.