According to a new study, calorie controlled diets don't help us lose weight and may actually cause weight gain.
Shock and horror! Well, I never!
Of course it's great that some people are putting in the time and energy to scientifically prove what we serial dieters have known forever - that DIETS DON'T WORK! Ask any Beyond Chocolater if she's slimmer now than when she first started dieting and the answer is always a resounding NO. When they have managed to lose any weight it has, sooner or later, come back on. Many end up weighing more than they did to begin with.
Over the years, we have read many papers and articles on the subject and have found lots of physiological and and psychological explanations as to why attempting to restrict what and how much you eat is bound to fail. This study adds yet another piece to the puzzle, another facet to consider when the temptation to diet rears its ugly head.
The researchers wanted to test the hypothesis that dieting, or restricting calories intake, is ineffective because it increases chronic psychological stress and cortisol production - two factors that are known to cause weight gain. They put 121 women into different groups, some were restricting and counting calories, some were restricting intake but not counting calories, some were counting calories but not constricting intake and the last group were neither restricting intake nor counting calories.
Unsurprisingly, the group that did the worse was the one that was both restricting intake AND counting calories leading the researchers to conclude that: "Restricting calories increased the total output of cortisol, and monitoring calories increased perceived stress. Dieting may be deleterious to psychological well-being and biological functioning, and changes in clinical recommendations may be in order."