Dieting Makes People Fat
Dieting involves selecting the types of foods to eat as a means of reducing calorie intake and body weight in general. Through dieting, one struggles to deal with the negative feelings of feeling hungry while at the same time trying to avoid hustles of calorie monitoring. Many people fail to realize that dieting only puts stress on their bodies in the long run. While several individuals believe that dieting helps people lose weight, it is now clear from evidence that dieting increases the body’s ability to gain weight, thereby making people fat in the long run.
In 2012, Pietilainen et al. conducted a study to investigate the ability of dieting to increase weight. These researchers used more than 2,000 sets of twins divided into two groups: dieting and non-dieting groups. This study revealed that non-dieting individuals are three times less likely to gain weight than their dieting counterparts. The risk of becoming overweight is therefore accelerated by dieting, independent of genetics. From this research, it can be concluded that the more a person engages in genetics, the more he or she becomes fat in the long run.
As Tomiyama et al. (2010) explains, at any given time, more than 45 percent of adults living in the United States try to lose weight. Majority of this population use dieting as a weight-loss technique. Unfortunately, this technique is normally effective only in the short run. According to Tomiyama et al. (2010), in the long term, approximately 30 to 50 percent of people who use dieting as a method of weight reduction gain more weight than they lost when on diet. The amount of weight gain resulting from dieting for quite a long time has no relationship with ethnicity, age, and gender.
According to Field et al. (2003), depending on dieting to control weight is very ineffective in the long run because it may make a person fat. To prove this claim, Field et al. (2003), conducted a research using about 17,000 kids aged between 9 and 14. Kids of both sexes who dieted frequently were five to twelve times more likely to gain weight than those who did not diet. These arguments are similar to that obtained from open discussion with people who use dieting as a weight loss strategy. Many people state that they normally los pounds a few days after they are exposed to the first diet. The first dieting experience has been found to be the main trigger of weight gain (Field et al., 2003).
Physiologically, the human body understands the dieting process as a starvation method. Body cells are not always aware that a person is restricting his or her food intake. The dieting process makes the body to forego its primary survival mode of ensuring that there is a balance between metabolism and hunger. Eventually, the rate of metabolism is lowered and a person’s craving for food increases. After a person’s body has been exposed to a given diet for a few days the body begins to adapt contributing to overall weight gain. According to Mann et al. (2007), dieting is a very good predictor of weight gain. While a person may think that the rate of weight loss during initial dieting stages may continue for a long time, they become disappointed after realizing that their expectations never come true after prolonged use.
Tomiyama et al. (2010) emphasize that, dieting is highly disastrous to biological functioning and psychological well-being. In their study, these researchers revealed that dieting increases perceived psychological stress as well as total daily cortisol output. One of the main functions of cortisol is to make energy available to body tissues and anything that tends to block its functions acts as a biological stressor. With prolonged dieting, the body’s need for energy increases. Cortisol output will therefore increase in order to help release energy stores (Tomiyama et al., 2010). In the process, a person becomes fat as more and more energy stores are released.
In the past two decades, there has been a sharp increase in the prevalence of obesity and its related health problems (Field et al. 2003). Many developed nations are now trying to revise their healthcare policies as a move towards finding the most effective drugs for obesity treatment. Majority of people suffering from obesity rely on dieting as a way of treating obesity. According to Mann et al. (2007), more than half of those individuals who use dieting as a method of treating obesity regain more weight than they had before they were placed on restricted diet. Dieting is not effective as a method of weight loss maintenance. Mann et al (2007) also point out that there is not enough evidence to support the notion that dieting leads to lasting weight loss.
Dieting can cause weight gain in three different mechanisms. One of the mechanisms through dieting may cause an increase in weight is by increasing the metabolic efficiency of the body. An increase in metabolic efficiency means that the body will only require small amount of calories in order to maintain weight. For this reason, when dieters later consume a diet that had proved capable of maintaining their weight, they end up gaining weight instead of losing it (Field et al. 2003).
The other mechanism through which dieting may result into development of overweight is inability of the dieter to maintain the restrictive diets for a long time. In several instances, dieters fail to maintain their restrictive diets for a long time. According to (Tomiyama et al. 2010), dieting may cause restrictive dieting cycles that are coupled with binge eating or overeating. This results into repeated cycles of overeating that is responsible for the weight gain. The third mechanism through dieting makes people fat is physiological response towards diet with high percentage of carbohydrates. Many dieters demonstrate a physiologic response to foods with high glucose concentrations. They therefore consume foods rich in glucose of carbohydrates leading to development of overweight (Field et al, 2003).
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