Lose weight by diet alone is the new norm people are following nowadays. Some people get the results, some people don’t. In this post I will discuss the reasons behind this too apart from the truth and basic idea of losing weight by dieting.
And some just remain arguing or preaching about the fact that dieting is only going to make you worse. But overall, this concept of lose weight by diet has created a huge dillema in a lot of people’s mind. It is an even bigger dillema for people who don’t know that how weight loss actually works. So folks, let’s get everything sorted now !
What do you think when I said “lose weight by diet alone”?
I think before I make this post more detailed, this fundamental question had to be asked. Why?
Because I’ve seen and observed that for most of the people, doing “dieting” means removing flour products from their diet, cutting sugary foods, and eating only boiled vegetables, dried fruits, juices and just all those things considered to be “healthy“.
Or another version of this “healthy”, “weight-loss” friendly diet looks something like this. Low-carb, low-fat and just low-(every macronutrient which is calorie-dense)! There are many versions of this “weight loss friendly” diet and most of them involve eating less than 1200 kcal per day.
So, if your perception of “lose weight by diet” is something like this as I’ve mentioned above, let me tell you that these kinds of unrealistic diets can do more harm to you than good.
Why? Because –
- You don’t reach your daily nutritional goals
- Your metabolism gets affected very much. And when you get out of that diet, chances are that your metabolism won’t return to its normal state. So you’ll not require many calories and and would have to consume very few calories to continue that “healthy weight”
- If one of these diets includes cutting off fiber from your food, then you’ll very likely face constipation on a regular basis
- If you’re consuming a diet which is completely “fat-free”, then it can very much affect your skin health.
So, what kind of diet I was talking about?
First of all, let me tell you that the ideal diet for weight loss should not be a carbon copy of any of your favourite celebrities or idol at all.
So, how should it be? Well, you don’t have to follow any kind of fancy diet plans like fat-free, carb-free or any of this kind. You just have to cut some extra things from your normal diet (now this normal diet must include lots of vegetables, fruits and foods that help you reach your daily nutritional goals) which are causing you to be in a calorie surplus or maintenance. And these “extra things” can be things like your daily night ice cream, evening snacks etc.
And to your surprise, you can still include some junk food in this diet. But just ensure that you’re eating them in moderation and that you remain in either a deficit or maintenance even after eating them.
So, can you actually lose weight by diet?
The answer is YES!!! You can lose weight by putting some restrictions on your calorie intake.
BUT, I would recommend that don’t try losing weight only by dietary changes. Always try to involve as much cardio and weight training during your weight loss journey and even after that. I’ll explain this with an example. Note that this example will be based only on estimates and for an average human being.
So, imagine someone is doing weight loss only by dieting and his maintenance calories are 1800 kcal. Now he’ll start consuming his net calories of around 1600-1500. He would have lost around 3-4kgs of weight. And now, his metabolism will slow down due to this and maintenance calories will drop too. So now, his maintenance calories would be around 1600 kcal or even less. And he wants to lose more weight to achieve his dream physique. Now to do this, he would have to drop his net calories to 1300 kcal. And this is where the problems begin. At this threshold of 1300 kcal, this guy won’t be able to reach his nutritional goals via his food intake. Now, this can cause many things in his body like dizziness, micronutrient deficiencies, fatigue, headaches and whatnot.
So, you see how could weight loss by the means of dieting alone can do more harm than good. If this guy had included cardio in his day, he could have eaten more calories and would still be in a deficit. Moreover, if weight training is also included in his schedule, he would also not lose his muscle mass along with fat. And his metabolism would not have been so low. You know, metabolism is the thing which can trouble you the most if you’re doing weight loss by diet alone.
If you still aren’t convinced yet, here is a study spanning over a period of 3 years which will surely explain to you the truth about the ‘lose weight by diet alone’ thing. In this study, 4 groups were made.
- Group 1 – The people of this group did weight loss only by diet changes or calorie restriction
- Group 2 – Here, people followed calorie-restriction measures but did weight training too.
- Group 3 – Here too, a calorie-restricted diet was followed but people also did endurance training or cardio in general terms.
- Group 4 – People of this group followed all the practices followed by the other 3 groups. They were dieting, doing cardio and weight training.
So, 6 months, all of these groups had lost around a similar number of kgs from their body weight.
But at the 3-year mark, things changed. The people from Group 1,2,3 had regained almost all the amount of weight they had lost. But the peeps from Group 4 had sustained their lost weight even after 3 years. Some did gain weight but that was only around 1-2 kgs.
And do note that out of all participants, only 75% stayed in the study for the whole 3 years. Certainly, weight loss ain’t that easy. But still, 75% out of 100 doesn’t seem bad.