Photo Credit: Maria Cacciatore/Achona Online
At least once in their life, Academy girls have been in a panic before formal, prom, or even summer to diet and obtain their ideal body. However, they don’t know that the plan of dieting chosen can actually have a negative effect and leave girls wondering what is wrong. Although it might come across as successful immediately, the long term fluctuations are detrimental.
Nutritionists have discovered a hormone called Leptin in both men and women that works hand and hand with your metabolism. It binds with receptors in your hypothalamus, or the appetite center in the brain, to let the body know how much food to consume. Not only does the “satiety hormone” regulate energy balance, but it also tells your body what fats to burn and which to store according to Dr. Oz. Analysts have found when comparing the two genders that girls naturally have twice as much of the leptin hormone than men do.
Unfortunately, women are prone to leptin resistance, meaning that the signals being sent by the hormone to your brain are not working properly. However, this doesn’t mean a person suffering from leptin resistance has a low level of the hormone, it just means the body is not utilizing it sufficiently. If the signals were to be working, they would be letting your brain know when to stop eating.
People who suffer from leptin resistance have what doctors call a “starved brain.” The person can be eating all the time and the brain will not understand when you’ve had enough to eat. In addition, women tend to diet more frequently than the average male, and Academy girls admit that their idea of dieting is eating less.
Senior Morgan Graff joined the cross country team after quitting dance freshman year. Graff experienced stomach pains and realized that she could not continue her relaxed diet with her new sport and learned the hard way. Graff explains how diets are somewhat unrealistic because they are hard to maintain.
“Diets are so restricting and you can never hold them. I think people should try to make it a lifestyle to eat healthy rather than a diet because not eating to lose weight will only hurt you. Eating gives you energy which sports take away, so I need food.”
When the amount of intake on food adequately decreases, so does the leptin level. When a person’s level is lowered, the metabolism is signaled to slow down. This is why girls typically find themselves gaining weight after a diet. Because leptin levels reduced causing the metabolism to step on its breaks, when resuming to old eating habits or even the amount of food consumed, one tends to gain weight from their metabolism being weaker, and probably weaker than before the diet began. Guys usually don’t diet, so their leptin and metabolism remains constant, so anytime they workout or do anything to improve their health that doesn’t involve not eating, they don’t experience rebound weight gain, but a positive outcome.
Not eating will hurt you in the long run and frankly isn’t a good way to diet. There is such a thing as over-eating, but our bodies are precious and are not meant to be deprived of the things it needs. We eat food for a reason, our decision shouldn’t be whether we eat or not, but what should we eat. Everyone should take care of himself or herself physically and mentally. Everyone is made differently, and we have to remember being healthy isn’t a size zero. Listening to your body is key. One step into the right direction is realizing that being healthy isn’t found in any diet, but a lifestyle.