If you diet to lose weight, you are about as likely to gain weight as you are to lose it. 1
However, you are very likely to lose some other things!
Let me explain…
The human body has the endocrine system which manages our hormones. At the mention of hormones you may first think of the well known hormones testosterone and estrogen. Although these two get the most airtime and tend to monopolise peoples idea of hormones, we actually have over 60 hormones active in our body!
A Diet To Lose Weight Can Upset Hormones
Hormones are vitally important because they send messages to organs and tissues throughout your body. Basically they are ‘signalling molecules’.
Their duties include sending messages for:
- building strength and muscle
- storing fat
- emotional feelings; and, as well…
- signals to eat and to stop eating!
This last point is why a diet sometimes looks like this…
If you diet to lose weight you likely experience just such a dramatic upset to your control over eating.
Obviously an upset such as this can have a huge effect on your quality of life. It affects how your body operates, how your mind operates, as well as how you feel.
What You Might Lose When Dieting
Now you have a little idea of the importance of 60 hormones busy communicating vital messages in your body.
So ask yourself, is dieting to lose weight worth the risk of losing these things…
- Control over food – Dieting and weight loss decrease hormones that promote feelings of fullness and inhibit food intake (ex. Leptin). Plus, it increases hormones that stimulates hunger (ie. ghrelin)! 1 The result can be uncontrollable urges to binge on food.
- Freedom from sugar cravings – Persistent restrictive eating can lead to cravings for sweet tasting foods. 2 Hormone signals are involved in this process.
- Your ability to deal effectively with stress – Dieting affects the hormones adrenaline, cortisol and epinephrine. In turn, you might feel like your life is more difficult than it should be, and you can’t quite regain control.
- Not turning to food as a means to cope with stress – With cortisol levels upset you may experience increased appetite and more motivation to eat.
- Being even tempered – Dieting is associated with greater variability of moods including depression, feeling anxious, and foggy thinking. Changes in estrogen, testosterone, and serotonin have a big impact on your mood regulation.
- Sound sleep – Restricted eating interferes with melatonin, a primary sleep hormone. So, you may experience irregular sleep patterns and insomnia.
- Stomach comfort – Dieting and binge-eating cause havoc with digestive hormones and probiotics. The not so happy results can be gas, bloating, and general stomach discomfort.
- Normal bathroom habits – Restrictive eating alter hormones regulating excretion. This can lead to constipation, diarrhea, feeling dehydrated, puffiness and water retention.
- Fertility – Sever dieting is known to cause reproductive hormone imbalances. This results in irregular menstrual cycles and/or lower fertility.
You can see, when you diet to lose weight you’re at risk of losing a lot of other vital functions!
Fortunately there is a better alternative than a diet for weight loss. The answer is a healthy balanced diet for your holistic well being!