My diet theme this holiday season has been anything but diet.  Time to enjoy the holidays my friends!  This little article will cover actual physiologic reasons why dieting is bad this time of year.

First and foremost, when you try to diet around the holidays your energy plummets.  This is the time of year you need lots of energy with the hustle and bustle. Dieting causes essential hormones like testosterone and thyroid hormones to go off the wall so things that would be enjoyable this holiday season such as sleep, drive, positive attitude, and sex fly out the window.

Dieting causes cortisol the stress hormone to increases because of the obvious stress of caloric restriction in a season most people’s cortisol is already on the high side. Caloric restriction also causes a decrease in Human Growth Hormone (hGH) and its primary active metabolite, Insulin Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1).  Growth hormone is involved in a number of essential activities in the body including strengthening your bones, increases muscle mass, promoting fat burning, helps balance sugar, and stimulates the immune system.

There is a gut hormone called Ghrelin that sky rockets up in the presence of caloric restriction.  You know that deep down, gut aching desire you get when you are hungry – really hungry to the point of being very unpleasant? That’s Ghrelin.  Just see how well you prevail with Ghrelin raging in your system when you face a box of Christmas cookies…

The final negative I will cover has to do with your immune system.  Dieting causes your immune response to go down.  This time of year colds already have the advantage over us.  Add dieting into the seasonal picture and plan on seeing your doctor soon.  Being sick on Christmas is not on my wish list.  So once again – enjoy the holidays.  Enjoy each other.  And certainly enjoy the food.


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