Another new study is out – concluding that diets don’t work, and that temporary dieting may reduce our long-term health and natural ability to manage our weight. Though these conclusions are not new, this latest study is different from earlier ones. It explores a specific hypothesis to explain why temporary diets don’t work, rather than simply re-confirming this now well-documented human health phenomenon.
Don’t get us wrong. Our eating habits are important to our health and changing them can lead to weight loss. HumanaNatura, in fact, advocates a very specific way of eating – but a lifelong way, not a temporary one. We do this to encourage optimal health and body weight, and for the same reason, discourage short-term dieting.
It’s easy to understand why. When we examine diet study results and speak to dieters, again and again we find that people put their old weight back on after their dieting ends. And this research and our experience even suggests that there can be a sharp and higher bounce back up when we aggressively cut calories and lose weight precipitously. Our take-away from this: don’t diet.
What should overweight people do? As we explain in our science-based natural health system, a far better approach for lasting weight-loss is to find a way to get and then stay on a natural human diet, for good. This more enjoyable and naturally health-promoting strategy for weight optimization is far sounder scientifically and much easier in practice than crash dieting.
HumanaNatura guides people in this alternative to traditional dieting via our Natural Eating technique, which uses natural foods, and our natural physiology and health mechanisms, to steadily move our weight to its natural level. Importantly, people achieve a lean body weight in our natural health system without significant calorie restriction. Instead, we focus on building more ideal long-term eating habits and new perspectives on food – and on life more generally – through a process of progressive natural health alignment.
The latest study of short-term dieting was inspired by prior research suggesting slowed metabolism and increased hunger during and after calorie-crunching diets. To explore a chemical foundation of this, researchers at the University of Melbourne placed 50 people on an aggressive calorie-restriction diet of about 500 calories a day, and examined key dietary hormones before, during, and after the dieting period. About a third of the participants dropped out within 10 weeks, making their small study group even smaller, but underscoring the inherent difficultly and hardship of low-calorie dieting in general (leaving aside questions of its effectiveness and long-term side effects).
Importantly, the research team found that hypothesized hormonal changes in the dieters did occur and were more significant and longer lasting than is generally appreciated. Although further study is needed, the new results support the idea that intensive dieting chemically sets us up for failure, paradoxically and perhaps indelibly slowing our metabolism and increasing long-term feelings of hunger. The results are also consistent with the counter-proposal that efforts to permanently alter and scientifically naturalize our eating patterns – without severe calorie restriction but eliminating health-impairing and weight-engendering unnatural foods – are the correct way to achieve a healthy and sustainable body weight.
This new-old alternative to modern dieting appears far more likely to leave our weight-optimizing natural metabolism intact, while developing healthier eating attitudes and behaviors for the future (by both requiring and motivating them). This alternative model is of course precisely HumanaNatura’s approach, including our strong emphasis on essential health science understanding and advocacy of satiated eating within our natural range of foods. For people using our natural health system, we counsel expectations of gradual weight-loss of about a kilogram (2 pounds) per week until our natural body weight is reached, and then permanent maintenance of this weight as long as our Natural Eating guidelines are followed.
We would emphasize that this more natural form of weight optimization occurs without either significant calorie restriction or sensory deprivation. Instead, our method promotes a 100% natural and scientifically optimized human diet – emphasizing raw vegetables and fruit, while avoiding all carbohydrate-rich agricultural and industrial foods (including all grains, beans, and starches). Our Natural Eating technique also includes consumption of sufficient lean animal proteins and tree nuts to meet our physiological needs and satisfy normal hunger (with fats moderated principally for long-term cardiovascular health, rather than weight management).
It may be different, but HumanaNatura’s naturalized approach to weight loss works in practice and is supported by a growing body of nutritional and evolutionary science that explains why it does in principle. Learn about the newest study at Why It’s Hard To Keep Weight Off and how to make the delicious salad meals you see on NaturaLife via our popular article Perfect Salad Meals.
If you need to get lean or want to enjoyably stay lean the HumanaNatura way, you can review our guidelines for delicious, science-based natural nutrition and practical tips for achieving an optimal body weight via the Natural Eating section of HumanaNatura’s free and comprehensive four-part Personal Health Program.
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