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5 Reasons Your Body Hates Dieting

We’ve all heard the far-fetched claims of fad diets before—that a juice cleanse will make you drop 20 pounds in a month, or that one simple trick holds the secret to weight loss. We know that these clickbait cure-alls don’t work, but what about the less outlandish, average diet?

The truth is that our bodies aren’t designed to “diet”; to lose weight and live healthy, we need to make consistent, sustainable choices. That’s why we’re breaking down the 5 reasons why your body hates dieting—and providing a long-term solution!

1. Diets Can Lead to Malnutrition

Many diets out there that do “work” help people lose weight by restricting the types and amount of food we can eat. In theory, this sounds like it works—but in practice, it reduces the amount of nutrients we take in. When the body isn’t properly nourished, it starts to sustain itself by pulling what it needs from fat, muscle, and organs.

Much of this leads to malnutrition, which can have adverse effects on the body like:

  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Decreased mobility and stamina
  • Fatigue and difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty breathing, chest infections, and respiratory failure
  • Delayed recovery from wounds, infection, and illness

In the end, your body can suffer for the potential of short-term results. Losing fat may come at the expense of our general quality of life, especially when it comes to “extreme” dieting.

2. Your Body Enters Starvation Mode

While someone on a diet may want to lose weight, more often than not, their body disagrees. When we reduce our food intake, restrict nutrients, or our BMI suddenly drops, our bodies enter “starvation mode.” This defense mechanism is meant to protect us in situations where food is scarce to help keep us alive by altering our metabolism and weight accordingly, storing more calories and fat to sustain us.

However, when we stop dieting, the body works to ensure we don’t “starve” again in the future. Often, the end result is re-gaining any lost weight, or perhaps even more than we started with! This contributes to the ineffective cycle of yo-yo dieting—losing weight and regaining it over and over—as our bodies fight to protect us.

Read more: 5 Ways Your Body is Fighting Weight Loss and How to Stop It

3. You Need to Enjoy What You Eat

Many people associate dieting and healthy food with restriction and boring, bland meals—it’s why folks have “cheat” days, or dread going on a diet before a food-focused holiday. But did you know that we may not enjoy all the potential benefits of a meal if we don’t enjoy the food itself?

A study cited in the New York Times found that our bodies don’t absorb as many nutrients from foods we dislike or are unfamiliar to us. When we enjoy a favorite meal, our bodies kick into digestive overdrive. We salivate more frequently and our stomachs secrete more gastric juices, all helping us better digest the meal in front of us. This efficient process means our bodies absorb more nutrients than meals that we don’t break down as thoroughly.

Culturally, many of us view diets as a chore or even a punishment—but that may be making them even more ineffective! That’s why one major part of successful weight loss is sustainable lifestyle changes, such as finding foods that are good for us and taste great too. When we like the food, it’s much easier to keep eating healthy in the long term!

4. Diets Are Ineffective

Even when a diet is successful—when we lose weight, when we feel healthier—they are often ineffective in the long-term. Why? Because most diets and food fads aren’t sustainable over time.

Restricting foods, cutting them out entirely, and “cleanses” tend to rely on a defined end date—a week, maybe two, a month, a year. Yes, a person might be able to lose some weight by cutting out carbohydrates or sugars, but our bodies also need some amount of them to function and produce energy!

Diets that work only do so while we’re dieting; once we stop following the strict rules, the benefits disappear—and, often, the weight we lost reappears. The cycle of yo-yo dieting continues as our bodies fight to make up for the brief period of “starvation” they experienced.

So, if diets don’t work, what does? The answer is lifestyle changes that keep the present and the future in mind. Yes, eating well is a part of a healthy lifestyle—but don’t think of it as a “diet”! When we find ways to get the nutrients we need in a way we enjoy without counting down the days to food freedom, we get to experience the benefits of healthy eating in the long-term!

5. Diets Aren’t Weight-Loss Surgery

Weight-loss surgery is proven to be the most effective method for successful weight loss because it’s not just a diet; it’s a tool for a complete, healthy lifestyle change.

Bariatric procedures provide a wealth of health benefits that kickstart weight-loss efforts, including:

  • Reducing the size of the stomach so patients feel full while eating less
  • Resetting metabolism so the body avoids “starvation mode”
  • Lets them eat healthy, delicious, well-rounded meals in smaller portions

These procedures are tools that give patients everything they need to develop healthy habits that last a lifetime. In fact, patients generally lose 50 to 70% of their excess weight and studies show most have successfully kept it off 5 to 10 years after their surgery, if not more!

Why are our patients so successful? Because they have the entire NYBG team behind them, helping them along every step of their journey! We provide the best procedures and care on their schedule, allowing more people to lose weight and live healthy on their terms.

COME TO NYBG.

When it’s time to start a successful weight-loss journey, it’s time to call NYBG! We’re the best practice around and our numbers prove it:

  • 13 skilled surgeons who are leaders in bariatrics
  • 15,000 successful procedures performed with more every day
  • The #1 gastric balloon practice by volume – most balloons placed in the United States
  • 24/7 access to online seminars
  • 100s of videos for patients explaining procedures, answering common questions, and showcasing previous patients
  • Multiple offices located in three states; NY, NJ, CT
  • Since 2000, we boast 18 years of success!

Our commitment to patient success and excellence has earned us accreditation from the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This prestigious achievement recognizes only the top bariatric practices. Stop waiting; start achieving better health today.


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“The staff and doctors at the New York Bariatric Group are amazing! They are always patient, helpful, and very understanding and pro-active with questions, problems, etc. After Lap Band surgery I feel fantastic. For the last 6 years I have not had to worry if my clothes would fit. I have been able to maintain my weight loss, and have so much more energy.”

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"I was concerned about my health, my blood pressure, cholesterol, my mobility, my flexibility. A few friends told me about NYBG and I went to a seminar. I wanted to live a healthier life and live a long life. My recovery was great, after a week I was 100%. My doctor, Dr. Sekhar, has the best personality in the world."

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