Effective Diet vs. No food - which is better in weight loss?

I get hundreds of cases who are having problems managing their weight. One will wonder, why does someone who wants to lose weight go to a psychiatrist?
 The answer- Majority people fail in the path they follow for weight loss. Repeated failure leads to decreased self-esteem and depression. The depression can even decrease the love for self, the love for those around you and love for life. This is where I help in providing the effective medical solution on how to lose weight, and battle the depression and low-self esteem. My method is to based on teaching how to create an effective diet, how to eat at specific intervals and counseling out of depression.

A common binding thread in all cases of weight management I see is that their needs and demands while wanting to lose weight are more or less the same.
  • Don’t want to do any exercise. 
  • Want to eat favourite foods. 
  • Want to lose weight fast. Not only fast but at speed of light. 
  • Don't Know the reasons for their weight gain- emotional eating, depression, compulsive eating, anxiety, hypothyroidism, sedentary job profile etc etc... but don’t want to accept it. 
  • Prefer surgery or instant cure, to doing all efforts.
  • Another common phenomenon is that the moment they start losing weight and start getting compliments, they forget the entire weight loss program.

The first reaction of 99% people who realise they need to lose weight is too leave all food or go on prolonged fasting. 
Weight loss is only possible by completely leaving food or going on prolonged periods of Hunger is a social myth, proven to be wrong by medical studies. 

Hereby 6 medical reasons why majority of people who stop eating food end up gaining much more weight than those eating effectively or dieting effectively :

1.      Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) abnormality-  Every human body has a specific metabolic rate. That’s the speed at which the body burns calories. Hence those blessed with higher BMR lose weight faster than normal. While those with slower BMR put on weight even on eating calorie-less food.
Fasting or long periods of hunger is an exercise that produces fast drop in BMR. As a person gets habituated to fasting the BMR decreases and plateaus at a certain level. Henceforth the a person ends up burning much less calories than he/she would otherwise. 

2.      Fat strikes Back – Fasting is like deflating a balloon. The quick weight loss happens, because the body dehydrates its cell and uses muscles to meet the energy requirement of the body. This has a deflating balloon effect.
Have you ever seen when a natural disaster strikes a town. The moment food and water  supplies reach the starved inhabitants, people try to hoard and collect 10times more than the needed.
Like that starved individual, when fasting is broken by any reason or temptation, the starved body tries to retain much more resources than it requires. This leads to weight gain beyond the point of starting.

3.      Nobody has that much Will Power-  I get patients coming to me and boasting that they fasted for 2weeks, lost 5kgs and then one party, one compliment or one night out triggered eating which lead to them gaining more than the lost.
As an expert in human mind and brain I would like to tell you a truth. A truth that everybody knows but keeps his/her eyes shut to it. Fasting can be done only for a short term. 
Nobody has so much will power that they can be fasting for years together. The sight and smell of your favourite food will trigger your brains appetite centre. No matter how much you try, compliments are a boost initially but later lead to a “comfort zone” formation where the mind thinks “I am thin now I got so many compliments, now I can eat whatever I want”

4.      The mind Game – Have you ever thought how important food is for your mind, body and soul? If you are reading this article, then most probably you are from a middle class above family. A family where earning the daily bread is not an issue anymore. A family where emotional and behavioural survival is  more important that financial or physical survival.
In such an environment, food is no longer just a necessity it’s also an integral part of your personality. The types of food and drinks you have is an expression of who you are. Your knowledge, taste and want of food makes you stand apart from others.
Fasting for long periods of time starts killing your personality. You are prevented from enjoying all the fun, When all your friends are discussing about new food joints, when your boyfriend/husbands wants to go and try a new exotic restaurant in town, when you want to have some quality time with friends and family!!!
Every time using the phrase “sorry I am on diet, I will just have a juice” makes others forget you when they are discussing the delicious food around.

5.      Fatigue Attacks -  Since creation of the human body, carbohydrates have been its main source of instant energy.  Over centuries our genetic makeup is such that our body needs carbohydrates. The moment you fast and shut down the intake of the same, body goes into a frenzy. The brain overtakes the mind, and orders the body to get energy from other sources of the body.  The body is so designed that finds it easier to digest proteins to get energy rather than digesting fats. Hence the body starts devouring the richest source protein in your body, the muscles and the brain-cells. Immediately triggering fatigue attacks, concentration problems, emotional problems, menstrual cycle problems, sexual problems, etc.

6.      Red carpet welcome for sickness -  The immune system of the body is composed of protein rich white blood cells which are produced in various regions of the body. With fasting, an energy deficit is triggered within the body. As discussed above, the brain gets into power-saving mode. It decreases the productivity of all bodily function. And specially those which require high protein content. Hence one of the major systems to be partially shut down is the immune system. Henceforth giving a red carpet welcome for all bacteria and virus to come, infect and enjoy the exploits of your body.
So next time you planning to go on fast to lose weight keep in mind, you might shortening your own life.
Losing weight is not difficult, but like any process it requires a planned approach. Do it so, and you can achieve the desired figure with a healthy and happy self rather.

Thanks for reading

Dr.Hemant Mittal (MBBS,PGDPM, MBPS, MD(mindmantra))
Motivational Speaker - Mind Trainer –
Emotional, Behavioral, Sleep, Memory and Sexual Health Consultant at Mind Mantra.