PT on the Net Research

Extreme Dieting


A client of mine actively used extreme measures to lose weight for her wedding. Now several years later, she is reaping the negative effects. She has put on a serious amount of weight, and no matter what she does, the body fat does not shift. She trains three to four times a week for an hour (sometimes two if she does a class). I’ve only just started training her. However, I wanted to know how much will all the extreme dieting affect her when it comes to losing weight?


This is an interesting question, as it does pertain to your client, but it also pertains to every other human all over the world. The trend today is DIEting, or what I call a short term imprisonment. Not to judge, but do most prisoners learn anything about life in prison? No. They serve their time, get out and the likelihood of the felon going back is high. The same goes for DIEting. You surround yourself with messages like “Do not eat that, you can’t eat this, you shouldn’t do that” and on and on. You surround yourself with negative energy the entire time, and basically you’re not teaching yourself anything about food quality, quantity, how to shop, cook, about yourself and how to live. It is, get in and get out, going back to your old way of life.

I like to call what I do “Holistic Lifestyle Coaching.” Nutrition is a part of life, and when we separate food from life, you train the person to live to eat, not eat to live. At the same time, as most people on this planet are now conditioned to believe that you can lose weight, gain mass, get ripped and look like a fitness model with a one-size-fits-all supplement, 20 minutes three times a week on the ab roller or by taking a shake three times a day for just one week. So when people are given all these promises when they enter a DIEt program, they are disillusioned that it does not happen fast enough. Sometimes they even gain weight initially, so they back out. This in the end makes things worse.

Here are a couple of key points I will elaborate on:

  1. You are what you eat.
  2. You are what you think.
  3. The female fat cell.

You Are What You Eat

This is the most understood topic within our society today because most of us live to eat and do not eat to live. We go by how food feeds and gratifies our emotions rather than understanding what it is providing us. With your client’s diet consisting mostly of fruits, veggies and grains, this equates to sugar, sugar and more sugar. Our bodies need protein, carbs and good fats to run the way they are designed. Our bodies make things (i.e., teeth, bones, hormones, etc) from proteins and fats, and the fuel for our engines is carbs.

When it comes to your client’s diet, she basically was turning herself into being insulin resistant eating those types of meals during the day. When this happens, the bottom line is that the receptor sites for insulin are full, so your body becomes resistant to insulin, and you cannot regulate blood sugar. Insulin is a fat storing hormone!

At the same time, if a client is eating lots of boxed and canned foods, convention grain fed meets, juice=sugar water and lots of fruit = sugar, well as I said, “You Are What You Eat!” Do not judge a food by what it looks like. Teach your clients to start to understand where the food has come from and what the animals were fed. Also, teach them to read labels and understand that “one man’s food is another man’s poison.”

Action Items:

  1. Read “How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy!” by Paul Chek.
  2. Have her get tested to find out her Metabolic Type.
  3. I would put her on protein, above ground veggies and good quality fats for at least three months. No industrialized grains!

You Are What You Think

This is quite simple. The nervous system is the vehicle for the mind. It is a neurohormonal system meaning that every thought you think travels through the body = NS and affects every cell and hormone. You can think of thoughts as our body’s neurological reality. We have about one trillion cells in our body, and at each end of every cell is a nerve ending. So, thoughts affect over one trillion cells in our body every time we think a thought, which affect the nerve endings, which create OUR reality. Thoughts precede EVERYTHING we do. So what I teach is, “Change your thoughts, change your day!”

Actions Items:

  1. Refer your client to a NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming Practitioner)
  2. Refer her to John McMullin at Journeys Of Wisdom (
  3. Find a book that aligns with her values and beliefs. Some good authors are Eckhart Tolle, Carolyn Myss, Depok Chopra and Collin Tipping)

The Female Fat Cell

This is one of the main reasons women DIEt, then go off, then DIEt again, etc, and still continue to have so much trouble losing weight. Women have more lipogenic enzymes (fat storing) than men. This is secondary to birthing and the body wanting to protect the female organs, fetus as well as providing precursors to hormones. Each time your client diets, she produces even more of these enzymes. So time after time, she starts producing more lipogenic versus lipolytic enzymes, and the body cannot and will not get rid of the excess weight.

Secondly, when women diet, it is mostly based on calorie restriction. Calorie restriction = stress response = cortisol, insulin, adrenaline and elevated insulin levels, elevated lipogenic and dec lipolytic = muscles sensitive to insulin = fat collection around the midsection = each time you diet you create more hormone imbalances and more lipogenic hormones!

Lastly, from dieting, most women gain weight and create hormonal imbalances. What do I mean by this? They become estrogen dominant. The body, secondary to stress, slows down the production of progesterone and other hormones, but estrogen is still produced in the adrenal glands and fat cells, where it is stored. So, the more excess weight, the more estrogen is still produced and stored. So weight loss is not going to happen.

Action Items:

  1. Get her hormones checked at
  2. Teach her how to eat and live, not live to eat.
  3. Refer her a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach.
  4. Refer her to a Metabolic Typing Advisor.

I hope this helps. Some great books to read are:

  1. "How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!" by Paul Chek
  2. "Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell" by Debra Waterhouse
  3. "What Your MD May Not Tell You About Premenopause" by Dr. John Lee
  4. "The Cortisol Connection" by Talbott

Good luck and remember, if you are in doubt, refer out!