Dieting is a great short-term solution, but for most people, it can become a long-term challenge. Some would go as far as saying that dieting makes you fat. Either that or you find yourself eating less and less, not to lose weight, but simply to maintain your weight. It is as if diets have an inbuilt failure switch that eventually turn themselves on for most dieters. It really does not seem fair, does it?!

So what is going on there, and why do you sometimes hear that dieting makes you fat? To answer those questions, let us take a look at how the body works with respect to fat and energy.

In holistic health, we look at the body as a whole. For example, if someone comes to me to help them heal a painful knee, I do not concentrate on the knee but am led to where to real problem is, and follow a program of helping the whole body to heal. For example, one lady came to me for healing her knee, and it transpired that her foot was the problem, with her body still shifting position to compensate for an old foot injury, unnecessarily. After healing the memory stored in the body of the old foot injury, the knee pain disappeared. Why am I telling you this example? Because it is not an emotive one. Let us extrapolate the idea of holistic healing to losing weight and dieting. There is a simple theory, which often works, of calories in and calories out (or kilojoules in and kilojoules out). According to this theory, if you eat x amount of calories and use up more than x amount of calories, then you lose weight. However, these calories in and out are based on calculations for a normal healthy body and not a body that is in starvation mode. The human body holistically has evolved to regulate itself for optimal health and survival. In nature in the wild, all those years ago before modern civilization, availability of food was not a constant. For example, it was not always possible to catch an animal, and in winter, the fruits and berries were not available for picking. So the body has evolved to adapt its rate of using up calories or kilojoules according to how plentiful or scarce the food is. This rate adjustment is called metabolism. Unfortunately, it took thousands and thousands of years for our bodies to evolve like this, and they have not caught up with the changes in the modern world. Our bodies do not evolve that quickly!

Imagine your metabolism like a control box. In times of plenty, our metabolism control box sets itself onto fast mode. We then use up calories relatively fast. In times of scarcity, our metabolism control box sets itself onto slow mode. We then burn calories at a slow rate. The body does not realize that we are dieting for a good reason. It just panics and thinks: ¨Oh no, I´m running on empty, I´d better go slow¨.

Let us briefly go back to the example about the knee and the foot. The knee pain was the body´s way of saying: ¨Help me, I have a problem¨. Without this pain, the body would have continued to deteriorate. With this pain, the person was driven to find a solution and not only put her body right but also prevent further injury. Now, let us go back to the body that is forced into a restriction. Just like the knee hurt, your body´s signal of distress when low on food is the feeling of hunger. And of course, if you are on a diet, you are so happy to be losing weight, that it is easy to ignore this hunger, or even feel a high, in control. But, if we go through a period of being continually hungry, the body´s control box, your metabolism is then automatically re-adjusted. It then sets itself into starvation mode. And then the slow mode become super-slow mode, stretching out every calorie even further.

At this stage, familiar to many a dieter, you start feeling lethargic. The intention to go to the gym, for a run, or for a walk, just goes out the window. You may even find yourself lying down listlessly staring at the TV and berating yourself for being so lazy.

At this stage two things tend to happen. The average dieter fails in their efforts and stops losing weight, or loses weight a lot more slowly. And then when you start eating normally again, your metabolism would still be in super-slow mode and you would pile on the kilos or pounds. Those are the lucky ones. Other dieters may go into Eating Disorder Land, in a desperate effort to lose weight, which is a mental illness that leads to many physical complications, at least some of which are permanent. Assuming you were like the average dieter, you can surely now get a feel for how it went wrong. It was not your willpower. It was not because you were weak, or because you did not want it enough. It was because you used a concept for eating that has been in common use only about 100 years, compared to about 100000 years of human evolution!

So how do we trick our bodies into not going into starvation mode? Well, the most common triggers for our metabolism kicking into starvation mode are:

* Going on a diet
* Skipping meals

Skipping meals is a very common way of controlling one´s food intake. But how does your body react to it? Well, when you skip a meal, such as breakfast or lunch, you have a few hours to a whole day of safety from over-eating. But, either later on that day or when you finally allow yourself to eat, say in the evening or at lunch, your body has been building up that feeling of hunger, which by then is so great that you tend to:

* Eat larger portions than intended
* Have seconds or thirds
* Eat whatever you can get your hands on, including chocolates, crisps/chips, cookies, etc.
* Tell yourself it does not matter, because you have skipped meals anyway

But your body has already gone into starvation mode and is working super-slow!

If and when that happens, you may experience any of the following:,

* You feel lethargic
* Exercise is put off till tomorrow
* Your blood sugar and biochemistry is all messed up
* You desperately need comfort because you feel terrible (and this source of comfort tends to be food)

So, to trick our bodies into not going into starvation mode, we need to activate the trigger for a faster metabolism. And that trigger is eating! And to get your metabolism to speed up, you need to stop starving yourself. I am not talking here about eating lots of cake, chocolate, ice-cream, and so on. As a matter of fact, in my experience with hundreds of clients, it seems that your body does not naturally crave ¨naughty¨ foods. It is only when we starve ourselves or when we have unresolved negative emotions that we crave foods that are bad for us. When we have cleared out the emotional stuff and listen to our body´s true signals, then we only eat what we need, and any excess weight naturally, gradually, and permanently falls off.

Naturally slim people can eat what they want, when they want it, because they are listening to the body's signals about what it needs in that moment. Some days they will eat a light salad for dinner, and another day they will have an Italian meal with plenty of cream. That is just the body's way of getting the vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrate, and fat it needs at any particular point in time, in order to stay healthy. Now, is this not a better way of living than constantly trying to starve yourself?

In my experience with clients and my own weight-loss journey, I have found that tapping techniques, such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT for short), balance the mind and body about food. In other words, a tapping technique like EFT somehow clears all the noise in the way of you hearing your body´s true messages. And when you can hear your body´s real messages, you can eat according to those, eating what you need, when you need it. And your body will then help you by guiding you to being naturally slim. You can download a free guide from many online resources and find out more for yourself. Or you can dive right in and work with an experienced practitioner. And if tapping is not your thing, you can find another way that works for you; for example, meditation, hypnosis, kinesiology, Reiki, or coaching.

Author's Bio: 

© Suzanne Zacharia 2010. My name is Suzanne Zacharia and I am committed to spreading the word about health options. I believe that the more and better options one has, the more choice there is. And of course, you are advised to consult with your medical practitioner before embarking on any course of alternative, complementary, or beauty therapy. Want to use this article? You can, as long as you credit me with it and invite your readers to get my FREE "EFT How-to for You" and regular free EFT Tapping script samples in my newsletter at - New to EFT? No worries, just get your own copy of "EFT How-to for You" and start EFTing with ease very soon!