|Dieting and exercise causes weight loss, but much of this weight is made up of muscle.
Traditional dieting and aerobic exercise cause weight loss. The science is quite clear on this. However, the quality of weight loss is poor because a large amount of the weight is muscle. This muscle loss lowers the resting metabolic rate. In addition, dieting causes the hypothalamus to stimulate appetite. The combination of a low resting metabolic rate and a stimulated appetite significantly increases the risk of weight regain at a future time point.
Unfortunately this short term weight loss in beneficial in most people’s eyes. This is perhaps because humans are pleased by instant gratification. Whatever the reason, most individuals who begin a diet are initially rewarded with weight loss and this can continue for a number of weeks or even months. However, eventually, the increased appetite and reduced metabolic rate causes them to regain all the lost weight, and usually some more on top.
The Need For A long Term Strategy
An initial weight loss consisting of muscle can be comforting, but the bathroom scale belies the truth. Clearly a better more long term strategy is required to cause sustainable and permanent weight loss. In this regard the old paradigm of calorie counting and aerobic exercise must be discarded and a new paradigm accepted in its place. Thoughts should turn instead to diet quality, rather than diet quantity, with resistance training replacing aerobic style exercises.
Diet Quality Is Key
The trick to weight loss is to consume a high quality diet. This means abandoning refined grains and sugar, processed oils and trans fats, food ingredients and sweeteners, and replacing them with whole grains, vegetables, quality protein and healthy fats. Traditional diets are high quality diets and they cause weight loss without the need for calorie counting or exercise. By swapping to traditional eating plans, long term successful weight loss is far more likely.