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Why "Diets" Don't Work

The typical diet limits two things--carbohydrates and total calories. The result
is short-term weight loss of a few pounds, and then rapid weight gain, often
to a level a pound or two above where you started. It's not hard to understand

It takes about 3 grams of water to store one gram of glycogen, the stored
form of carbohydrate. Low-carbohydrate diets eliminate glycogen--and the
water it takes to store it. Water is heavy. Losing glycogen reduces weight by
eliminating some of the body's water, not its fat. Meanwhile, diets that limit
calories to less than about 1200 a day fool the body into thinking it's
starving. The body reacts by slowing its basal metabolic rate (BMR), the rate
at which calories are burned while resting. The longer you diet, the slower
your BMR, and as BMR decreases, the pounds come off more slowly. When
the diet ends and calorie consumption returns to normal, renewed glycogen
storage quickly adds lost water weight. In addition, BMR remains low for a
while, so you burn calories more slowly and regain weight more quickly,
especially if you eat fats. 

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