Radical Diets Lead to Weight Gain

Written by Paul Wolf

Although the reasons are elusive, a study shows radical approaches to weight loss make you fatter.

Providing a strong indictment of "radical weight loss efforts," a study concludes that some people who diet actually gain weight.

Radical diets make you fatter.
Those who engage in extreme diets probably binge as well.
The only effective weight loss plan includes a long-term approach to diet and exercise.

Eric Stice, Ph.D., of the University of Texas at Austin, says his study of 692 adolescent girls and their weight profiles over three years has left him seeking explanations.

While Stice says he has more questions than answers, he feels strongly about one thing: "Dieting as it is usually practiced doesn't work. For a lot of people, diet and exercise as a permanent lifestyle change is not very glamorous."

For now, Stice will explore three possible explanations:

1.Most girls who are inclined to diet in an extreme fashion are genetically inclined toward obesity.

2. Most inveterate dieters are given to binging, whether or not this fact is disclosed on their questionnaires. (Many of the dieting methods, e.g. use of laxatives and vomiting, disclosed are often associated with binging.)

3. Exercise programs that accompany dieting lead to increased muscle mass and bone density, which can increase overall weight, even if fat loss occurs.

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