How to be a Slim Person – Why Diets Don’t Work

You’ll notice that the title of this article is not how to lose weight fast, the best diet in the world or how to get yourself trim for the summer; no, it’s how to be a slim person. In this article you will learn how to be slim from the real experts. I’m not talking about the people that write the plethora of diet books with their wacky calorie counting regimes and crazy recipes that tell you to eat mashed kumquat for three months, no, the real experts are the people that have been slim all their lives and don’t ever go on a diet. In these three short articles I will show you how slim people manage it and how you can become a slim person with no stress and no dieting. More importantly, I will show you how to stay slim for the rest of your life.

Why diets do not work

It is a fact that dieting does not work in the long term. Numerous scientific studies have shown that although dieting will cause you to lose weight initially, the majority of dieters will pile the weight back on after they have finished their so called diet. Not only will they put the weight back on, dieters will usually gain more than their starting weight. There are several reasons why dieting results in you actually putting on more weight.

Rapid weight loss will activate the body’s starvation response where the body will burn off both fat and muscle. At the end of the diet you will start to gain weight, but mainly fat rather than muscle. This yo-yo dieting will lead to you having a higher fat to muscle ratio; not a good look and certainly not good for your health (see Body Fat Percentage Calculator). Also, having a lower proportion of muscle mass in your body slows down your metabolism because muscle burns calories faster. Having less muscle means that you will put on more weight with a lower calorie intake than if you had more muscle.

Psychologically dieting is hard. Counting your calories and following a strict eating regimes requires a will power and determination that is difficult to maintain for any length of time. After the initial euphoria of losing weight, the determination to carry on will invariably fail, leading to binge eating and weight gain.

Constant calorie counting, which is advocated in most diets, leads to an obsession with food and in particular, the eating of food. As an analogy, imagine you’ve got a slight twinge of pain in your back. What would be the best thing to do? Get on with other things and forget about the pain, or set an alarm to remind yourself every five minutes to check whether the pain has gone away? Obviously, it is best to forget about it. The same goes for food. If you’re constantly obsessing about how much you are eating, asking yourself how much can I eat at the next mealtime? should I just have a little snack now? will it be too much etc, you are bound to create a obsession and desire for food that you will have to constantly fight using will power. The lifelong slim person does not think about food that much and so does not have a constant desire for food, which doesn’t mean that he/she doesn’t enjoy food.

So why are there so many diets? Because it is a multi-million dollar industry. Because diets invariably don’t succeed, the companies marketing the diets will always have an endless supply of customers waiting to try the next wonder diet that may just work this time.

If diets don’t work, what is the alternative?

In Part 2 How to be a Slim Person – Fat and Thin Habits we will compare the behaviour, lifestyle and mindset of the slim person verses that of overweight people, and give you a simple action plan of small easy changes you can make to the way you live that will make you a lifelong slim person too.

References

Online Body Fat Percentage Calculator
Scientists say dieting does not work
Yo-yo effect
Diet books: fat on profits, skinny on results?

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