How Dieting Can Make You Gain Weight

how dieting can make you gain weight

A properly planned diet will create a caloric deficit and help you lose weight. However, there are reasons why dieting can actually end up causing weight gain either during or after the diet phase.

When contemplating a diet you should learn about the potential negative effects that could arise as a result of your diet. Knowing about these possibilities will help you to choose a diet that will provide optimal results if you stick through it.

Post-Diet Weight Gain

A major cause of weight gain that could occur due to dieting is sometimes referred to as the “rebound effect” and occurs as a post-diet weight gain. This happens when an individual stops dieting and the body responds accordingly. If there is an increase in consumption after the diet ends then it could cause a weight gain.

The calories necessary for daily weight maintenance will have decreased if significant weight has been lost. For this reason, many individuals will not notice that they are eating too much after experiencing severe weight loss. The main cause of post-diet weight gain is the bodily response to the dieting effects. Much of the water weight that was lost will be gained back and for extreme dieters this may amount to almost the full amount of weight that was lost.

Effects on Metabolism

To minimize rebound effects it is important to choose a healthy diet program. Otherwise, it will lead to the body not being able to operate at the appropriate metabolism level. If daily intake is substantially below maintenance or nutrients are not consumed in proper proportions then your metabolism could be hindered. This would mean a lowered metabolic rate that result in slower and less efficient metabolizing of food.

The end result of this will be weight gain. Until the metabolism is shocked or somehow brought back up, it will be a gradual process of gaining weight until a balance in maintenance is reached.

How to Prevent Weight Gain from Dieting

A very common dieting mistake which leads to a dieting weight gain is choosing the wrong diet plan. Not every diet will work the same for everyone and the particular nutritional intake you require to healthily lose weight is individually dependent. It is important to determine your caloric intake amount for maintenance so you can set a healthy caloric deficit for weight loss. 300 to 500 calories under maintenance is sufficient.

If you wish to follow a pre-made diet program then make sure it does not create too large of a caloric deficit. An extreme caloric deficit will lead to more weight loss from muscle and a decrease in metabolism. You may want to look into the appropriate macronutrient balance when planning a diet, but most pre-made diet programs will cover this for you.

Minimizing the rebound effect helps to limit your weight gain from dieting. Slowly increasing your daily calories until it is near maintenance will accomplish this. A gradual increase allows your body to continue working at a healthy metabolic rate as it prevents overloading the body with food to metabolize. There will be some regained water weight but with a healthy diet plan this weight gain will be minimal. A healthy diet should still be practiced after the diet phase has ended to prevent any negative effects on your metabolism.

Weight gain from dieting may be caused by psychological conflicts, metabolic responses, or natural rehydration of the body. With a healthy diet plan your body will stop the body from entering starvation mode or becoming unbearable. If the diet is well thought out with no extreme components then it will not damage your metabolism. While water weight gain is expected, it can be limited by minimizing the water weight that is lost during dieting. Dieting can cause weight gain if done incorrectly, but don’t worry – a healthy diet, well planned diet that involves healthy food selection and manages a well proportioned caloric deficit will definitely result in an overall weight loss.


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