Karen Marcouiller

Personal Trainer and Health Coach

National Sports and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

Why Diets Don’t Work (and What Does!)

December 16, 2019




Just the thought of a ‘diet’ makes many of us feel dread and overwhelm. To most of us it means highly restrictive calories, tasteless, unsatisfying food and constant hunger.


And the chance of sticking with it for the long term?  Well, forget it!


By definition, most of us think of a diet as a temporary food plan. We just have to stick with it for a certain amount of time, then we can go back to what we did before.


Except, wait. What we did before caused us to gain all this weight in the first place. In fact, about 95% of people who lose weight by dieting will regain it within 5 years.


And all that deprivation caused our metabolism to slow down. Our body responds to lack of adequate calories by slowing down and burning less. So weight loss gets harder, we gain more, and the cycle continues.  (This is known as yo-yo dieting and is not good for us!)


So what can we do to lose weight and keep it off permanently?


The answer is lifestyle change


– learning to eat healthful foods and exercise. And yes, treats are okay once in a while. Everything in moderation. Food is fuel, but we should also be able to enjoy it. Constant deprivation just makes us throw the towel in completely when we eat something we feel is ‘bad’.


And of course, exercise. Weight training increases our metabolism, allowing us to eat more without gaining weight.  When we reduce calories and begin to lose weight, if we’re not weight training, we’ll lose muscle. This slows our metabolism even more.


The only way to maintain muscle mass as we age (and keep our metabolism humming), is weight training.


So the real, effective, healthy way to lose weight, and keep it off, it to make sure we’re eating healthy – lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables – most of the time. And follow an exercise program that includes weight training all of the time.


Contact me if you have any questions or if I can help you!

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