The first diet I tried was the one I remembered giving me the fastest results – and that was a low-carb diet. Then I tried Weight Watchers. I tried meal replacement shakes. I cut my calories way down. I even tried tracking my macros.

They all gave me a quick initial loss, but then the weight would come right back!

I lost and gained the same 10 pounds for three months. The harder I tried to lose the weight, the faster it came back!

I was stuck in a loop of more and more restriction. My self-esteem was destroyed by the fact that I could not lose this weight.

Here’s why restrictive diets are a problem – the restriction actually made me think about food more. Psychologically, we’re more inclined to want what we know we can’t have. When I finally gave in and ate some of those foods that were considered off-limits, I went way overboard and then felt total guilt for being so weak.

I’d swear that tomorrow, I’d start over. DAY 1 (for the 50th time!). With a clean slate I’d be stronger, more determined to stick to the diet… but it happened over and over.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Restrictive diets only made me hungrier and more obsessed with the foods I couldn’t have.

Here’s another problem – restrictive dieting can really mess with your metabolism. Your metabolism is the number of calories your body needs to burn just to keep you alive. If you’ve got a lot of muscle, your metabolism is probably pretty high, and your body burns a lot of calories during the day.

If you cut your calories by too much, your body starts breaking down your muscle to feed itself. Without that metabolically active tissue to maintain, your body now burns fewer calories during the day.

When that diet ends and you go back to eating ‘normally’ you end up eating MORE calories during the day than you did on your diet. Now you’re in a caloric surplus and you’ve got a lot of extra energy.

You’re more likely to store those extra calories as fat. What’s even worse is that it’s likely to be stored as belly fat, which puts you at a higher risk for several health conditions, including heart disease, the leading cause of death of women worldwide. YIKES!

Because I was tired of living with a list of foods I couldn’t have, I tried an ‘everything in moderation’ approach. Meaning, nothing was off limits, I’d just make sure I stuck to a total daily calorie limit, and that would work. This was my next mistake.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or Registered Dietitian. The information presented is purely to share my experience and for entertainment purposes. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.