Dieticians and nutritionists are making a fortune these days, with most people struggling to follow a healthy diet, whether for general health or weight loss. While most respectable practitioners actually help their clients with useful suggestions and nutritional therapies that ensure sustainable weight loss and improved health, there are many who simply focus on delivering quick results, no matter consequences. Unfortunately, in such cases, the weight loss is often detrimental to health, as the reduction in those pounds is sometimes solely because of water and muscle loss.
The two most common problems with diet plans from unscrupulous dieticians would include the following:
1. Counting Calories:
“Studies have shown that a sudden drop in caloric intake can modify the nature of gut bacteria to encourage maximum extraction of nutrition and calories from ingested food!”
If you are instantly switched onto a low calorie diet, the sudden drop in caloric intake for weeks causes a slowing down of your metabolism, as your body tries to conserve energy by storing more fat and increasing nutrient absorption and calories from food. In fact, studies have shown that such changes to your diet can modify the nature of gut bacteria to encourage maximum extraction of nutrition and calories from ingested food! The clinical term for this process of lowering metabolism in response to reduced caloric intake is ‘Metabolic Adaptation’.
This is precisely why restrictive diets that encourage calorie counting provide quick results, but then falter and fail miserably. For sustainable weight loss that is healthy, you also require environmental and behavioral modifications that can be maintained indefinitely. Failing to maintain such changes, results in accelerated weight gain. In other words, you need to stick to the diet you adopt, as your body adjusts to the new caloric intake. If you return to your old diet or any higher caloric diet, you will start to pack on the pounds again.
2. Low Protein Diets Without Weight Training
“The prime motivation here is to show clients quick weight loss results, but in addition to failing to build muscle it also ruins your metabolism”
Many dieticians also put their clients on diets with unhealthily low protein content, discouraging them from building muscle! Some actually advise against weight training, insisting on just cardio. The prime motivation here is to show clients quick weight loss results, which will not reflect if you build muscle mass. The downside here isn’t that you don’t build muscle mass alone, but you also ruin your metabolism because of the low calorie diet combination with cardio. Once your course with the dietician is done and you return to a normal diet, you start to gain weight faster than ever before.
The worst part about such an approach to weight loss diets is that once you regain the weight, you will have to cut your caloric intake even further to lose it, as your metabolism has found a new low.
How To Undo The Damage To Your Metabolism
Begin by exploring the concept of ‘reverse dieting’, which basically implies strategically increasing caloric intake with healthy but calorie dense foods, in a phased manner. While this will cause some fat gain, it restores normal metabolism and makes it easier to then lose the few extra kilos.
The other focus should be on muscle building, as nothing works better to raise your body metabolism. Cardio alone will not help shed the pounds, so start weight and resistance training as well.
I’d like to remind you that not all dieticians and nutritionists function in this manner and in many cases they are forced to make such recommendations because of clueless clients, who simply want quick fixes. The truth is, if you really want to lose weight, stay in shape, or simply get healthy, you need a diet plan that is sustainable and allows you to build muscle mass, instead of solely focusing on the weighing.
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