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  • Writer's pictureAmie

Part 1: Fad diets decrease your metabolic rate by up to 15%

Hello all!

I didn't really want to speak about this so early into sharing my blog posts, but over the last week I have had many incidences of clients, friends, and family members turning fad diets or binge eating.

Personally I feel quite devastated by this as I feel like I have failed these people. I feel as though I have not educated enough or been available to prevent the cycle of restriction, binge eating and guilt.

So over the next three weeks I will be discussing both fad diets and binge eating to help you understand how fad diets and binge eating will affect you mentally and physically.

Fad diets – What are they?

A Fad weight loss diet is any diet that promises fast weight loss without a scientific basis.

These diets often eliminate entire food groups and as a result do not provide a wide variety of important nutrients. Fad diets tend to provide short term results but are difficult to sustain and can cause serious health issues.

Now I just mentioned that fad diets focus on weight loss - which is exactly what I meant - WEIGHT loss. It is not FAT loss. When you start following a fad diet, whether it is body trim, juice, paleo, zone diets, isagenix, etc everyone will lose a lot of weight within the first week or two.

Why does this happen?

Most people would think that it is because they are losing fat. In reality, most of the time it is actually muscle and fluid loss – not fat loss!

Fad diets have significantly less calories in comparison to the persons previous diet, the body begins to break down muscle to meet their energy (calorie/kilojoule) needs. This happens much more easily than the body breaking down fat to use for energy.

So what happens when our body breaks down our muscle?

  • A loss of water weight – giving you the illusion that you are rapidly losing weight.

  • Your metabolism will DECREASE! So if you stop the fad diet and eat normally again, it will make it easier for your body to regain body fat quickly!

What is our metabolism?

Our metabolism refers to all the chemical processes going on continuously for us to function and practice a normal life. These processes include breaking down food and nutrients needed for building and repairing our body. If we eat or drink more than what we need for our metabolism to function, then it will be stored as fat.

Our metabolism is responsible for our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Our BMR is the amount of calories our bodies need to just sit there and do nothing. No arms waving around or walking, just bed rest. The BMR is influenced by our age, gender, weight, height, lean muscle mass, physical activity, infection, hormonal imbalances and crash dieting!

Your metabolism can decrease up to 15% as a result following a fad diet – which means you have to eat less to see body fat loss – and then your metabolism again will slow, and you will be left eating hardly anything!!! Where if you only cut out a small amount of calories at a time – your body will keep working smoothing and prevent a decline in your BMR.

So if crash or fad dieting decreases our metabolism, what can we do to increase it to see body fat loss?

Protein increases our BMR by 20-30%. So firstly the most important thing is to ensure you are eating small amounts of protein 4-6 times a day (this depends upon your body weight and training)!

Carbohydrates increase our BMR by 5-10% - YES CARBS ARE GOOD FOR YOU! So make sure you get just enough each day to keep your motor running and energy levels high!

Fat raises our BMR by 0-5% - so keeping the fat in our diet lower is a better option than cutting out whole food groups like wholegrains and dairy.

What should you do?

Maybe think about incorporating the right types of foods at the right time of the day, before you do any mass cutting of food groups! I have added many calories into clients diets, and ensuring the right food are eaten at the right times, and they have lost anywhere between 6-15kgs within the first few months.

Do not underestimate the power of food!

Next week...

I will discuss the main fad diets I see or know my clients have followed, including the paleo, zone, juice, clean eating, isagenix, body trim, lite & easy diets. I will look at the pros and cons of each one and explain why healthy eating as a whole is much better than all of these diets put together.

If you would like to talk to me about your diet, book an appointment now!


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