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11782 Jollyville Rd #204b and 102a

 Austin, TX 78759, USA


 Fax  (877) 205-3455

©2017 by Optimal RD: Registered Dietitian Nutritionists


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Diets and Metabolism


Have you ever wondered why diets don't work? This is exactly why! I spend so much time talking to my clients about what happens metabolically when we diet that I thought a graphic would be helpful. This visual shows what is going on metabolically when we go on diet after diet after diet. 


Think back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Imagine a time with no grocery stores, no restaurants, no modern technology, and only eating what could be caught in the wild. When we went for several weeks with little food because no one caught an animal, we lost some weight. Fast forward a few weeks. When we finally ate sufficiently again, we would gain back the weight lost and then a little extra. As a survival mechanism, we put on a little extra for the next time our bodies would be forced to go several days or weeks without sufficient food (AKA a famine). Our bodies didn’t know when that would be, so we stored it up just in case. When the next famine happened and we had very limited food, we had a few extra pounds to help us survive a little longer. And when we ate sufficiently again, we gained it all back and then a little extra again. Our caveman ancestors weight went up and up as a survival mechanism, and the cycle repeated itself.


Modern culture has evolved, but our bodies haven’t. This is what happens when we diet. Our bodies think it’s time for another famine. So when we go off the diet, our bodies don’t know when the next famine (diet) will be, so we store a little extra. This is the concept of yo-yo dieting. Metabolically, if dieting worked we would all be dead by now. So thank your metabolism for keeping you alive, and stop confusing your body with one diet after another diet after another diet!


If you are ready to stop the yo-yo dieting cycle, give us a call (512.815.3438) or send us an email ( and we can help you set up an appointment with one of our dietitians.


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