An expert explains why diets don’t aid weight loss


“We have a cultural obsession with weight loss,” says Dr Nick Fuller, an Industry Program Leader at The University of Sydney in the Faculty of Medicine and Health. According to Dr Fuller, we go on between four and five diets every year, 61 diets by the time we reach the age 45, and therefore spend approximately 31 years of our life dieting.

And the worst bit? It’s all completely pointless.

“All diets are a waste of time and money and they cause damage to your body,” Dr Fuller explains. “This is why diets such as Keto, 5:2, Paleo, and Atkins have all appeared in the bottom 10 diets and have been ranked the worst diets for 2018 and 2019 in the World News & Health Report.”

“People lose weight but they always regain it. Research has proven that fewer than 5% succeed on their dieting attempts because all diets fail to address your biology that will always work to defend your set point (your starting weight).”

It is down to our body’s ‘set point’ that unfortunately almost all diets we might try are literally doomed to fail.

Dr Fuller explains the set point as, “the weight you will remember being at for a long period of time in your adult years – and the weight that you always bounce back to after every bout of dieting.’

The set point is established by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which regulates our weight and is essentially what is working against us when we embark on yet another diet to lose weight or kick-start a healthier, leaner, lifestyle.

While Dr Nick Fuller wants you to ditch the concept of ‘dieting’ – especially ‘crash’ or ‘fad’ diets that promise amazing results in a small amount of time – he does explain that instead of going on a diet, we should be looking to redefine our body’s set point instead.

“Within everyone is an outline of what your body wants to be – a silhouette within your current figure – a lowered set point and a weight that your body will optimally perform at. The only way to redefine your set point is to follow an evidence-based Interval Weight Loss plan that taps into your body’s evolutionary desire to take it back to its natural preferred weight.”

“The Interval Weight Loss plan allows you to overcome the biological protections that have prevented you from succeeding on your weight loss journey to date. By losing a small amount of weight each month (2 kg) and imposing breaks on further weight loss every second month, your body recalibrates at its new and lowered set point along the way. Consequently, your body doesn’t fight the weight loss and you don’t regain the weight you lose.”

Plus, just because dieting is off the menu, it doesn’t mean that your regular workouts and exercise regime is a waste of time too. Instead of cutting down on calories or depriving yourself of food on various diets, Dr Nick Fuller says that focusing on fitness is worthwhile, despite our body’s set point.

“It is much better to focus on making exercise a part of your daily routine as physical activity helps to preserve loss of muscle mass when losing weight. This is vital as the amount of muscle you carry determines how fast your metabolism will burn.”

The key is to focus on living a healthy lifestyle and to try and tune out the messages and information that our dieting culture would have you hear, telling you to lose weight quickly in new and improved ways.

“Stop listening to social media influencers or celebrities spruiking diets or online programs. They don’t know what they are talking about and don’t have the evidence or credentials to back up the claims they are making – it’s all anecdata,” Dr Fuller warns.

“Take on realistic and sustainable food choices instead that you can adhere to life-long. For example, don’t cut out entire foods or food groups. Not only is it not safe to do so, but you also won’t be able to adhere to it for more than a few weeks (this is your body working against you to ensure you go back to your starting point).

“Retrain your brain to reduce your addiction to processed and fast foods. These foods release a pleasure response in the brain, but you can also get this same pleasure response from natures treats. This retraining process is outlined in the Interval Weight Loss plan.”

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