Why do diets fail?

Those initial weight loss results from a new diet are encouraging, aren't they? Go on a diet, lose weight right away! But the weight doesn't stay off. Every wonder why? There are two reasons.

First, your body needs energy, much like a car. While a car burns fuel, your body burns glucose. If you stop filling your car with fuel, it will die. But your body is smarter than a car. If you stop filling your body with food, evolutionary-induced safety procedures kick in. Your body is a good friend, and like all good friends, it will protect you. After centuries of desperate survival, it will do anything to get energy. Like a sinking ship where the owners are willing to tear it apart just to stay afloat, your body will tear itself apart to get the fuel it needs for energy. For a day or two without food the body will tear apart muscle cells and convert them into glucose. Eventually it will include fat cells into it's rampage, but it never stops tearing apart the muscle cells. (For the curious there's a technical reason for this: muscle cells are composed of building blocks that can be converted to glucose, fat cells can not be converted to glucose, only a cheap wannabe called ketones.)

For a number of reasons this process is very harmful and undesirable, I'll only focus on the one reason that a dieter would care about—-muscle loss. What! I can hear the women out there saying, "Who cares about muscle loss?". You do. For one thing, muscle is a huge calorie burner, you don't want to lose it dieting. For another thing muscle loss also affects your posture and physique. Think back to pictures you've seen of starving people-—did they look good slumped over with their gaunt faces?

Second, when dieting, your body will try to store as much body fat as possible out of every meal! That evolutionary process talked about above won't let you starve. You will convert as much food as possible to fat.

So why do you loose weight at first when dieting? Muscle weighs much more than fat. The muscle your body is destroying causes smaller numbers on the scale. But you won't look any better, because you haven't lost much fat. Did you know that a beach ball and baseball weight the same? It's about size, not weight.

Conclusion: Diets fail because your body doesn't respond the way you'd like, causing the fat to stubbornly stay put.


1.Don't weigh yourself. Instead of a scale, use a tape measure, or a mirror, or a friend, or clothes (see if they're becoming more loose).
2.Don't diet. Instead, consider eating more healthy. Think long-term: most people can't stay on a diet for any length of time anyway.
3.Eat more. Spread out your eating over the day, for example, by eating snacks between meals. You'll lose weight by eating more often because you're body is convinced it's not starving.
4.Experiment with exercise. Aerobic exercise increases metabolism. Without changing your eating habits. Even when you're not exercising. Strength exercise builds calorie burning muscle cells (ladies, this can be done without building muscle size.) I can show you how. If you don't like it, stop. What's there to lose? Just weight. I mean size.

Author's Bio: 

Greg Mumm is a fitness trainer who's spent a lifetime collecting knowledge that can help you lose weight and gain energy. He even wrote a book, available at HowToEnjoyExercise.org