Why is it that so many people who diet end up putting on weight? We've all heard of this, but it isn't just an apocryphal myth - in fact, researchers have concluded that going on a diet is one of the best predictors of future weight gain!
So why does this happen? Ironically it's due to the efficiency of your body. Humans have evolved to be able to survive both times of plenty and times of famine - your body has systems in place to prolong life for as long as possible even when you are not eating enough.
So when you start on the latest 1200 calorie fad diet, your body interprets it as a famine, and reacts accordingly.
One of the body's first reactions is to release an enzyme called Lipoprotein Lipase. What this clever little chemical does is maximise the storage of fat - so your super low cal program has now turned you into a super efficient fat-storage machine - the exact opposite of what you want.
To make matters worse, the Lipoprotein Lipase will stay in your system for up to 3 months, so even when you start eating normally once more, your body will still be working hard to store fat!
The other problem with low cal programs is that they eat away at the body's lean muscle mass. Now when you bear in mind that each pound of muscle that you have burns between 15 and 35 calories per hour, it soon becomes obvious what the problem is. The longer you stay on the low cal program, the less muscle you'll have, and the fewer calories you'll be burning.
And once again, when you come off the program and start eating normally, you'll now be doing so with a lower base metabolism (i.e. fewer calories burned per hour) than before you started trying to lose weight.
So how do you lose weight? Actually it's quite simple. The only way to guarantee sustained weight loss is to eat healthy, filling, nutritious food while exercising regularly.
If you base your eating around fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, and combine CV, interval and resistance training, you'll not only lose weight, but look and feel better too!