Why Dieting Can Make You Gain Weight


I always thought that maybe a wedding would be the incentive
I needed to lose weight, so when I got engaged, I decided
to start looking into it. But after I did a little
research, it quickly became clear that the best diet was
actually no diet at all because it turns out, dieting
can make you gain weight. (upbeat music) Yeah, diets have been
around for hundreds of years and so you might think,
well, it’s time tested, hundreds of years, we gotta trust it. But you would be wrong,
you’d be very wrong. So here’s the science behind why dieting can make you gain weight. Body weight is regulated by the brain, and which is often resistant
to extreme diet-based weight loss, so when you’re on a diet, sure, initially you might lose weight, but likely you’re gonna gain it back because your body’s gonna make you. The hormone leptin plays an important role in our eating habits. This hormone combats our attempts at weight loss by signaling hunger. Basically, you scared your
body because you starved it, and so your body is like, okay, bitch, I’m gonna start storin’
up fat, so if you do this to me again, I’m gonna
have some fat storage to be able to deal with that starvation. This is the called the
classic starvation response. The brain responds to a
loss of fat by increasing your hunger levels, so
now you’re more hungry, and you may eat more food,
so if you’re dieting, you are far more
vulnerable to binge eating. Dieting can be stressful in
itself, and stress hormones are linked to weight gain,
especially in the belly area. Just so you can understand
how silly diets are, I think it’s best to look back on the dieting fads of yesteryear. The creator of graham crackers introduced a high fiber diet in the 1830s. We all know what happened, obviously, camping became big, we
started eating s’mores. Graham crackers aren’t that
healthy when you put chocolate and marshmallow on them,
but they are delicious. There was William Banting’s
low-carb diet from 1863. In 1903, it was popular
for people to chew food 32 times in order to lose weight and digest food better, I guess? There’s a lot more things you could do to lose those calories than
just sittin’ and chewin’. The cigarette diet debuted in 1925, and we all know how that went. Yeah, cigarettes, not so healthy. The grapefruit diet debuted in 1930, and it was popularized in Hollywood. The idea behind the grapefruit
diet was that if you eat a grapefruit with every meal,
you’re gonna lose weight. I mean, I love grapefruits but does anyone love grapefruit that much? A grapefruit every meal,
that’s too much grapefruit. In 1934, the United Fruit Company began pushing the banana and skim milk diet. So you see the pattern
here, people are trying to sell you things, and
they’re trying to sell you it by telling you, you’re
gonna lose weight with it. This is a pattern that
repeats throughout time. On the Sleeping Beauty
diet, which debuted in 1976, people were sedated for days
in order to lose weight. Like Sleeping Beauty had an excuse, there was a curse put on her,
but you just cursed yourself. Or maybe society cursed you into thinking you needed to lose weight by
doing the Sleeping Beauty diet. The caveman diet came out in 1985 and that has morphed into what we
know today as the Paleo diet, where you just eat a bunch
of meat for some reason. The trendy diets of today are the Whole30, Paleo Diet, and the Keto Diet. Christine Clark, PhD, RDN,
she cautions against diets that prohibit certain food groups, which, if you’ve ever tried a diet,
is like, most of all diets. Dieters who avoid specific food groups lose out in the nutrients
that are in those food groups. The Keto Diet is a
high-fat, low-carb diet, which could result in inadequate levels of antioxidants,
fiber, and vitamins. The Whole30 is an
extremely restrictive diet. You have to eliminate dairy,
beans, grains, sugar, alcohol. The diet’s restrictiveness
can make it unsustainable. If you’re dieting and you’re following an unsustainable diet, you’re
gonna fall back to bad habits. Our society is obsessed with
skinniness for no reason. Skinny’s not always been
the ideal body type. Until the 1900s, curvy women were the ideal beauty standard
in the U.S. and Europe. There was singer/actress Lillian Russell, who would be considered
heavyset by today’s standards. She was the ideal beauty
in the late 19th century. During the turn of the
century, the Gibson Girls set another body standard for women. The Gibson Girls were
simultaneously curvy and fragile. They had thin waists, thanks to corsets, and large breasts, so
that was also probably a crazy body type to try to emulate. In the 1940s and 50s, advertisers
capitalized on the idea that women and who were skinny,
were unattractive to men. These are real ads that
were targeted at women to try to make them gain weight, which is just something that’s
completely unheard of today. There were these ads
basically reinforced the idea that to find love, thin
women have to gain weight. After World War II and into the 1960s, we had Marilyn Monroe, who
had a very full figure, and was considered the
ideal beauty at the time. In the 1960s, that’s when
thinness started to come into vogue, first with
Twiggy and Audrey Hepburn. Then in the 1990s, ultra-thin heroin chic was popularized by models like Kate Moss. Basically, beauty standards
change all the time, and currently being a little skinny thing is very unrealistic for most people. You can be healthy when
you’re slightly overweight, according to society’s standards. You know what, [beep] all
these crazy fad diets. Eat healthy, exercise, sleep,
watch your stress levels, and be happy in your body
‘cuz your body’s perfect the way it is, and honestly
trying to change it, might just be worse in the long run. (upbeat music)

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