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Why do I put on more weight after finishing a diet?

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

We have all done it, worked really hard at sticking to a diet plan only to take a break from it and end up putting more weight on than when you started.

Why does this happen?

Firstly, all diets work…….whilst you’re on them! Every diet is designed to make you lose weight, either by fat or calorie deficit, however they are not sustainable long term due to their extremes. Many people go into them for what they are, a quick fix but actually desire long lasting results. This is the major failure aspect, quick fixes don’t lead to long term results, they aren’t designed to, and this is where the line gets blurred.

Secondly when you go onto a diet, due to the restrictiveness of it, you will put yourself into starvation mode. Even if you are not starving, if the body feels like it is missing something it deems vital to keep you alive, it will panic. Once the body goes into panic mode it leads to numerous detrimental reactions. First it will panic and start to use your fat stores as energy, this is what the diet plan wants as this will get you quick changes. You will find yourself saying "I have dropped 6lb in my first week it's amazing" and this will be your fat stores being used and you will also lose fluid from around the body when you start a new diet or workout plan, which can give you the feeling of losing weight. However, by keeping you in panic mode, your body will go into long term panic. Once you stop the diet plan and start putting the bad foods back in, the panic will cause your body to hold onto any fats and unused sugars and place them into storage i.e. your body fat, causing you to put on more weight than you had before. Think about if you are out with your child or a child in your care and they go missing. You go into panic, all reasoning goes out of the window, and you frantically look for this child. Then once you find the child think about your reactions. You go up to them, you hold them so tight and then you continue to hold their hand and watch them more intensely than before the incident, you go into protection overload. This is what you’re doing to your body every time you go on a restrictive diet. Your body's main function at all times, is to keep you alive! It doesn't care whats going on in the news or what Jane from number 10 is doing with her gardener, it only cares about you and making sure you are in good working order. Eating the correct foods and keeping the body moving, just makes your body's life easier to take care of you, food is your fuel and movement is your regular service.

By never being on a diet and making amendments to your current way of eating, this will stop your body ever going into panic mode. It also keeps your metabolism in a regular state, there is no spike or fall, this will keep your blood sugar at a good level meaning you will be less likely to end up with type 2 diabetes. If your never on a diet, then you can never fall off one leading to the snowball effect. This is when you have a bad day whilst on a diet and you say to your self the next day ‘well I ruined my diet yesterday so I might as well have this bad food today and get back on it from Monday’. Then Monday comes along, and you say, ‘oh we have so and so’s birthday tomorrow, if I start back on the diet, I won’t enjoy the meal, I will go back on Wednesday’ and so it starts, you are snowballing down the hill back to the start. The only thing with a snowball is, it wont stop at the start line, it will build momentum and keep going, taking you further from the goal you started with.

This is what we want to try and stop. I have created a nutritional plan that consists of 8 weeks of consistent but not overwhelming adaptions to your current way of eating.

Each week you take a different type of food, learn about what it does for your body and how to make that work for rather than against your goal. As you are taking this at bite sized pieces and not overloading, you will gradually amend your diet in a way that suits your tastes and lifestyle challenges, leading to long-term results. It wont just assist with what you want aesthetically, but also improve the functionality of what goes on behind the scenes, improving you from the inside out. It also follows the 80/20 split rule. Meaning that 80% of the time you really think about how to create a healthy meal plan and then 20% you don’t have to think at all, you simply eat whatever it its you have been craving. This way you never fall off, you don’t snowball, your body get to know this routine and doesn’t crave or panic. When you exercise the body likes to be kept guessing, that makes it work harder. Nutrition on the other hand, loves to know whats coming next, it hates to be kept guessing.

For more information on the nutritional course, visit the online program page of my website. For more tips on diet, fitness or well-being, check out my podcasts on apple music or spotify.

Stay happy, stay healthy, Gem x

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