Integrative Health Blog

Why Diets are Fattening (And What To Do To Really Lose Weight)

Posted by admin on Fri, Jan 11, 2013

Eve Colantoni CHC

If you've ever lost weight by dieting only to gain it all back (and then some) upon returning toholistic_nutrition your previous dietary habits, then you're no stranger to the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting.

Sadly, this roller coaster ride of ups and downs in our weight is more than just frustrating, disheartening and a waste of time, money and energy. In the long run it can be extremely detrimental to our health with devastating effects to our metabolism, mood and energy levels. What’s even worse is that most people who engage in dieting as a means of losing weight are completely unaware of how they’re actually setting themselves up for long term weight problems and decreased health and vitality.

In fact, the fluctuations in our weight caused by on and off dieting can result in serious chronic health problems because our body’s basic system is impacted from the variations in our eating habits.  On a fundamental level, dieting and calorie restriction can alter the foundational “make up” of our metabolic system, affecting its ability to function on even the most basic of levels. This includes impairing the body's basal metabolic rate, which is allows us to efficiently burn calories and rev up our energy.

A closer look at dieting’s destructive effects:

When we attempt to lose weight by dieting and restricting calories we condition our metabolism to adjust to having fewer calories available. When this caloric decrease occurs, the body reacts as if we’re in times of famine where food may be scarce for an undetermined period of time. The response is to store as much fat as possible and simultaneously to burn as little fat as it can. But sadly, when the diet ends, and we return to our normal eating habits where calories are no longer being restricted, our metabolism has been already been negatively impacted.  The end result can be a lasting metabolic slow down.  Coupled with the fact that no new behavior patterns have been learned around food, the dieter returns to their old eating habits (which caused them to become overweight to begin with) but this time with a SLOWER metabolism to face the less-than-optimal diet!  It’s now easy to see how dieting can lead to chronic weight problems and decreased energy.

Again, despite what we’ve been taught about weight loss, it’s really critical to recognize that at the root of this vicious cycle is restrictive dieting. We've been duped into believing the idea of: “calories in-calories out”. We’ve been erroneously taught that as long as we reduce our caloric consumption, we’ll be able to lose weight without having to worry about the impact this way of eating has on our system as a whole. Sadly, when we employ this flawed approach our bodies will react and respond accordingly, with detrimental effect to both our weight loss efforts, but also our long term health.

Weight and well-being are not the only areas adversely affected by dieting.

Restrictive dieting can also result in the disruption of our natural ‘feel-good’ hormones, such as serotonin and diminished daily energy levels. So if you’ve ever tried to diet and simply didn’t have enough energy to continue, or felt grumpy the entire time, there’s a good reason behind these symptoms. And as if all this weren’t enough, it’s important to note that the impact of this cycle becomes worse each time we engage in it.  So, if you’ve ever felt like you just can’t lose weight the way you “used to”, there’s a very real reason behind it. These metabolic slow-downs are no accident!

So, if dieting is not the answer to losing weight, what is?

In order to lose weight, we need to look at the excess weight for what it really is: a sign of imbalance.  Just like having high blood pressure, or elevated cholesterol levels, being overweight is just another example of the body being out of balance. So, rather than approaching the issue from the perspective of trying to ‘lose weight’, instead we can proceed with the intention of healing our body and naturally bringing it back into balance, which will also set us up for the lasting effects we’re seeking .  Additionally, not only will we achieve our goal of losing weight, but we’ll also experience increased energy, improved mood, better digestion, increased mental clarity, and additional benefits too numerous to even list!

What’s even better is that when you invest in learning how to create balance and true health, the investment of your time and energy is not in vain like a diet where you ultimately have to go back and repeat the process because your first attempt didn’t yield the long term results you were looking for. Moreover, when you learn to rebalance your body, you learn skills that will carry you for a lifetime and act as your own personal health insurance policy for yourself and your family.  

3 Helptful tips when working to change your health and transform your life:

1.) Your body did not become unbalanced overnight, and it won’t miraculously be healed by tomorrow either.  Just recognize that healing is a process and it may require a few weeks or a few months or maybe even a few years. In the end, it will feel totally worthwhile and you’ll not regret the investment you have made in yourself and your life.

2.) Recognize that you’re attempting to change habits and behaviors you’ve likely had for a lifetime. Oftentimes, these behaviors and habits have been deeply etched into our psyche and are linked to some of our most basic primal needs.  Emotions can come up when attempting to make these types of changes. It’s perfectly normal and can be an amazing part of letting go of things that no longer serve you.

3.) Do not think you have to ‘go it alone’.  Somehow, we’ll take our car to mechanic if it starts acting up, or we’ll call an attorney if we learn we’re being sued.  But when it comes to learning to nourish ourselves and changing our lifestyle, we feel like we have to do it all on our own.  These days, this is just not the case!  Whether it’s working one-on-one with a professional health coach, like myself, or joining a group coaching program, support to reach your goals exists in many forms.

How to reclaim your health and create a vibrant, joy-filled future:

So, if you’ve decided that this is the year that you’ll work toward changing your health, rebalancing your body and reclaiming your happiness, I’ll be working with a select group of people in the 2013 Slim, Sexy and Energized Group Coaching Program.  To learn more about the program and to see if it’s right for you, simply visit:


For questions, feel free to email or call (202) 297-3707

Eve Colantoni, CHC leads the nutrition team at National Integrative Health Associates, which is Washington, DC’s premier integrative medical and biological dentistry center.

She is also the founder and director of Weight Loss For Tired People and the Candida Healing Institute. As a graduate of the Institute For Integrative Nutrition, her practice is based on the concept of bio-individuality and healing her clients to find the best path to their own unique healing process. You can learn more about Eve by visiting her private coaching website at

Topics: holistic nutrition, weight loss, integrative health, integrative nutrition