Starting a new diet with a fast can scupper your chances. It is quite literally a battle to lose weight these days, a battle between mind and body that is! A new study from the University of Illinois has found that our bodies resist our weight loss efforts if we reduce our diets too drastically.
Gregory G. Freund, a professor in the U of I College of Medicine and a member of U of I's Division of Nutritional Science particularly cautions against beginning a diet with a fast or cleansing day, which appears to trigger significant alterations in the immune system that work against weight loss.
"Take smaller steps to start your weight loss and keep it going," he said.
In the study, the scientist compared the effects of a short-term fast on two groups of mice. Freund said that there is an immune component to weight loss that has not been recognised. The scientist also studied differences in the behavior of the two groups of mice.
The results suggest that beginning a diet with a fast or near-fast may alter brain chemistry in a way that adversely affects mood and motivation, undermining the person's weight-loss efforts.
"The obese mice simply didn't move as much as the other mice… they didn't burrow in the way that mice normally do, and that's associated with depression and anxiety," he said.
Beginning a weight-loss program in a depressed frame of mind and with decreased motivation doesn't bode well for the diet's success, he noted.