Be careful what you wish for. Fast weight loss might mean weight gain.

The start of the year is bound to bring self promises: the famous New Year’s resolutions. Be a better person, get a better job, exercise more. Most of us have one, even if it is voiced out loud, shared on a social media status, whispered or written down in our little private resolution diary that starts with January 1st. And of the 44% of Americans that confess to having at least a resolution for 2017, many want to change something about their nutrition, how much they weight or how healthy they are. And weight loss is still in the top. But how effective are the diets that promise to help you lose the undesired fat?

 

Diets don’t take into consideration human evolution

For some time now there have been many conversations on the yo-yo effect and how the low-calorie dieting triggers more weight gain. But now we have scientific facts to bring to the table. A new study by the Universities of Exeter and Bristol warns about the unwanted effects of diets. Especially those that promise big results in little time. And it’s not necessarily the diet that leads to eventually regaining your weight, it’s what your brain does after a period of dieting. Mainly, it pushes your body to overeat.

 

Why is my brain sabotaging me?

Your brain doesn’t actually want you to fail your promise to be slimmer. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, the overeating after a period of intense diet is the way your brain cares for you. The scientists developed a mathematical model based on observations on animals and birds and can now safely say what ties the weight gain to the low-calorie intense dieting.

Being on a diet sends a message to the body that warns that the food supply is low. As our surviving instincts kick in, the brain signals the body to create more fat storages. So when you thought you where heading towards a slimmer body, you were actually teaching your body to accumulate more fat.

“Surprisingly, our model predicts that the average weight gain for dieters will actually be greater than those who never diet”, says Dr. Andrew Higginson from the University of Exeter.

 

The battle against weight loss is not lost

Science might prove that a low-calorie diet is not the way to go, but this doesn’t mean losing weight and becoming fitter is a dead-end resolution to make at the beginning of the year. Or at any time, for that matter.

The study showed that our brains are hard-wired to protect us from famine and starvation. Because, well, it takes time to really forget that our ancestors didn’t have pizza delivery. How much time, it depends. As this effect of weight gain after an intense diet period is not the same for everyone, it is suggested that food expectations vary according to someone’s subconscious beliefs. Also, a genetic component might be involved, tying ethnicity to obesity predisposition.

Even if you are more or less prone to consume more food after a diet, there are good news for you. The vicious cycle of food deprivation-overeating can be avoided if the changes to your nutrition and exercise levels are small and done over a long period of time.

It is not impossible to lose weight. But you should do it smartly. After all, human evolution shouldn’t defeat you. You should use it to better understand how your body and brain work and keep to that self-promise you made, you rational being you.

______

Directions received for writing this article:

Project title: Yo-yo Diets Will Sabotage your Weight Loss, Study Finds
Category: Health and Fitness
Keyword: no keyword required
Word count: 5]00

Project
instructions:
Writing style: Friendly tone
Article purpose: web content
Special instructions: Hello,

I would like you to write an article based on this study, as described below:

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-12/uoe-ydm112916.php

http://theweek.com/articles/665795/brain-could-sabotage-new-years-weight-loss-goals

Very briefly, mention in your article that weight loss is still a popular resolution, as shown in this poll results:
http://maristpoll.marist.edu/1222-being-a-better-person-tops-list-of-2017-resolutions/

Length: The longer the article the better.

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