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Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail. If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, you may have tried a low-calorie diet. These diets are popular and have been for some time. The main reason is because they are simple to understand, and they work, but ONLY in the short term! Unfortunately, most people can’t stick to a low-calorie diet for the long term, and they eventually gain all or most of the weight back (and sometimes more). So why do these diets fail? The answer lies in our hormones- specifically insulin.

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

What is insulin, and what does it do? Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas. Its main function is to regulate blood sugar levels. When you eat, your body breaks down food into sugar, which enters the bloodstream. In response, the pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin then helps to move sugar from the bloodstream into the cells, where it is used for energy. If there is too much sugar in the blood, it can lead to health problems such as diabetes. Therefore, insulin plays an important role in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.


In people with diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it does produce. This can cause high blood sugar levels, which can lead to serious health problems. Insulin is also known as the fat-storage hormone. It helps the body to convert glucose into triglycerides, which are then stored in fat cells. In people who are overweight or obese, insulin resistance can lead to increased fat storage and weight gain.

On his “Fasting Method” website, Dr Jason Fung refers to the results of a study where researchers gave diabetics an increased amount of insulin gradually over a period of 6 months. Surprisingly, despite consuming around 300 fewer calories per day, their body weight increased by 8.7kg! The only other difference was the increase in the insulin dose. This confirms that insulin makes us fat! Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail.

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

In his book, “The Obesity Code”, Dr. Fung explains that people gain weight because of a hormonal imbalance rather than simply consuming excess calories. And this imbalance of our hormones is caused by WHAT we eat (eg refined carbohydrates and sugar), not HOW MUCH we eat. Dr. Andrew Jenkinson also states this in his book “Why We Eat Too Much”:

Carbohydrates are an essential part of the human diet, providing the body with energy to fuel physical activity and brain function. However, when consumed in large quantities, carbohydrates can cause insulin levels to spike. Insulin is a hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar levels, and when insulin levels are high, the body becomes less sensitive to its effects. It’s why Low-Calorie Diets Fail.

This condition, known as insulin resistance, can lead to a number of serious health problems, including type 2 diabetes. In order to prevent insulin resistance, it is important to consume carbohydrates in moderation and to balance them with other nutrients such as protein and fat. You may have read about Low Card Diets, where carbohydrate consumption is dramatically reduced. Visit our blog pages to read a number of dedicated articles.

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains are also generally better for insulin regulation than simple carbs like refined sugar. By paying attention to their carbohydrate intake, people can help keep their insulin levels in check and reduce their risk of developing insulin resistance.

Low-calorie diets may seem like an effective way to lose weight, but in reality, they often do more harm than good. One of the main problems with calorie restriction is that it can slow down your metabolism; your body responds by burning fewer calories. When you cut back on calories, your body goes into starvation mode and starts to hold onto fat stores instead of burning them for energy. As a result, you may end up gaining weight instead of losing it.

In addition, low-calorie diets can lead to feelings of deprivation, which can trigger overeating. When people feel deprived, they are more likely to crave high-calorie foods and overindulge when they have the opportunity. Finally, calorie restriction can cause fatigue and irritability, making it difficult to stick to a diet in the long run. For these reasons, calorie-restricted diets are not an effective way to lose weight and keep it off.

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

First, low-carbohydrate diets help to reduce the body’s insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and fat storage. When insulin levels are high, the body is more likely to store fat. Low-carb diets help to stabilise blood sugar levels, which helps to prevent cravings and overeating.

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

Second, low-carbohydrate diets help to reduce appetite. This is because carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is then used for energy. When carbohydrate intake is low, the body breaks down stored fat for energy, which can lead to reduced appetite. You may also like to read our post all about the proven health benefits of avocados and how they are very diet-friendly.

Finally, low-carbohydrate diets tend to be more sustainable than low-calorie diets. This is because low-carbohydrate diets do not result in the same level of hunger and cravings that low-calorie diets do. As a result, people are more likely to stick with low-carbohydrate diets over the long term, which leads to greater weight loss.

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

Low-carbohydrate diets have become increasingly popular in recent years as people have been looking for ways to lose weight and improve their health. There are a number of different low-carbohydrate diets available, but they all share one key characteristic: they restrict the amount of carbohydrates that can be consumed. This means that people following a low-carbohydrate diet will need to find other sources of energy, such as fat and protein.

Low Carb

The first benefit of a low-carbohydrate diet is that it leads to weight loss. This is because carbohydrates are converted into sugar in the body, and this sugar is then stored as fat. By reducing the amount of carbohydrates that you consume, the body is forced to burn stored fat for energy, and you can reduce the amount of sugar that is stored as fat.

Another potential benefit of a low-carbohydrate diet is that it helps to regulate blood sugar levels. This is especially important for people with diabetes, as uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to serious health complications. Reducing the amount of carbohydrates in your diet helps to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. As a result, you can keep your blood sugar levels under control.

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

Low-carbohydrate diets may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and improving cholesterol levels. While a low-carb diet may not be right for everyone, it can be an effective way to lose weight and improve overall health. It is clear that low-calorie diets are not the solution to obesity. Carbohydrates and insulin play a major role in weight gain and obesity. Low-carbohydrate diets are a better option for those looking to lose weight and keep it off. There is plenty of research to support this claim.

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that low-carbohydrate diets were more effective than low-fat diets in reducing weight and improving health markers (such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels) after one year.

Also, as published online in the National Library of Medicine in April 2020, another study came to the following conclusion: “Current guidelines support the use of low-carbohydrate diets as an alternative to standard low-fat, calorie-counting advice for suitable patients with obesity or type 2 diabetes…… existing data suggest that adopting a low-carbohydrate diet is a legitimate and potentially very effective treatment option for patients with diabetes and obesity.”

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

A further study, published by the Harvard School of Public Health, compared three different types of diet – low-fat, low-carb and Mediterranean-style. Researchers found that both the low-carb and Mediterranean diets were more effective in reducing weight and improving insulin sensitivity than the low-fat diet. If you’re looking to lose weight, it’s time to ditch the low-calorie diet and focus on eating real, whole foods.

In conclusion, low-calorie diets may seem like a simple way to shed pounds, but they often fail in the long run. As already stated, the reason behind their shortcomings lies in our hormones, particularly insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and also plays a role in fat storage. When we eat too many carbohydrates, our insulin levels spike, and our bodies become less sensitive to its effects. This can lead to insulin resistance, weight gain, and even serious health issues like diabetes.

On the other hand, low-carbohydrate diets have shown promise in helping people lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle. These diets stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce cravings, and are more sustainable over time, leading to more successful weight loss. Research supports the idea that what we eat, especially the types and amounts of carbohydrates can have a significant impact on our weight and health. Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail.

So, rather than relying on low-calorie diets, it’s crucial to focus on a balanced, nutrient-rich approach that includes a reduction in carbohydrate intake. This way, we can regulate our insulin, improve our metabolism, and achieve lasting weight loss and better health. Low-calorie diets may have their appeal, but it’s clear that they’re not the most effective and sustainable path to weight loss.

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

FAQ 1: What is a low-calorie diet?

Answer: A low-calorie diet is a weight loss strategy that restricts your daily calorie intake to a level significantly below what your body requires for basic functions. Typically, this means consuming fewer calories than you burn, with the goal of losing weight. Low-calorie diets often involve careful monitoring of portion sizes and choosing foods that are lower in calories.

FAQ 2: Do low-calorie diets work for weight loss?

Answer: Low-calorie diets can be effective for short-term weight loss. By creating a calorie deficit, you can shed pounds. However, their long-term success is limited. Most people regain the weight once they return to their regular eating habits. This happens because low-calorie diets can slow down your metabolism and trigger overeating after the diet ends.

FAQ 3: Why do low-calorie diets fail in the long run?

Answer: Low-calorie diets often lead to a slower metabolism. When you consume fewer calories, your body adjusts by burning fewer calories, making it challenging to maintain weight loss. Additionally, the feelings of deprivation that come with these diets can lead to cravings for high-calorie foods, contributing to post-diet weight gain.

FAQ 4: What is insulin’s role in weight gain?

Answer: Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that plays a critical role in regulating blood sugar levels. It’s also known as the “fat-storage hormone” because it helps convert glucose into triglycerides, which are then stored as fat. High insulin levels, often caused by excessive carbohydrate consumption, can lead to increased fat storage and weight gain, especially in people who are overweight or obese.

FAQ 5: How do low-carb diets differ from low-calorie diets?

Answer: Low-carb diets focus on reducing carbohydrate intake rather than restricting overall calorie intake. By reducing carbohydrates, especially refined carbs like sugar and processed foods, they help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce cravings. This approach is often more effective for sustainable weight loss compared to traditional low-calorie diets.

FAQ 6: Can low-carb diets help regulate insulin levels?

Answer: Yes, low-carb diets are effective in regulating insulin levels. By reducing carbohydrate consumption, they prevent rapid spikes in insulin, improving insulin sensitivity. This makes low-carb diets a viable option for weight loss and managing conditions like diabetes, where insulin plays a significant role. Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail.

FAQ 7: Are low-carb diets healthier than low-calorie diets?

Answer: Low-carb diets have demonstrated effectiveness in both weight loss and overall health improvements, making them a favourable choice for many. They tend to help reduce risk factors for heart disease, improve cholesterol levels, and stabilize blood sugar, all of which contribute to better health outcomes.

FAQ 8: What is the key takeaway about low-calorie diets?

Answer: Low-calorie diets may offer short-term weight loss benefits, but their long-term success is limited. Focusing on the quality of the food you eat, particularly carbohydrate choices, is a more effective approach for lasting weight loss and better health. It’s essential to consider not only how many calories you consume but also the nutritional value of the foods you eat.

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Martin and Marion Shirran

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Mental Health Awards 2022 "Most Innovative Obesity Psychological Therapy Service"

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Holly and Phil interviewed Martin and Marion Shirran

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Martin and Marion Shirran
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Although the weight-loss results and success stories shown on the site are typical, individual results will vary and are not guaranteed. Weight-loss success depends on each individual’s level of motivation, commitment, food intake and metabolism. Read our full disclaimer in the Terms & Conditions.

Why Low-Calorie Diets Fail

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