Dieting Makes You Dumber

dieting makes you dumber factor 75

Guys, please. Don’t diet.

At Factor, we preach this constantly. It’s unsustainable. It’s ineffective. But now there’s more reason to stop dieting and counting calories: Dieting makes you dumber.

A recent article in The New York Times spells it out like this:

“Many diets require constant calculations to determine calorie counts. All this clogs up the brain.”

See, your brain only has a certain amount of available “bandwidth” – your mental capacity for performing necessary functions. These include logical and spatial reasoning, problem solving, attention span, info retention, and (the especially relevant) self-control.


If your bandwidth is constantly tied up in resisting the plate of chocolate chip cookies in the break room, you’ll have fewer brain reserves available for the essentials: reading, writing, listening – and thinking.

And how about that afternoon meeting?

The boss asks you a question, but you’re spaced out thinking: “If I have that cookie now, that means no cheese in my quesadillas…definitely no wine with dinner…” Wait, what did she say?

In addition, deprivation is only weakening your willpower.

As you continue to scrutinize every calorie – depleting your available bandwidth of self-control – you’re exacerbating your cravings.

This study found that by restricting certain foods, we increase our cravings. Sounds logical right? Promise yourself no Pumpkin Spice Lattes this season, and chances are you’ll crave one even harder.

Combine those intensified cravings with depleted resources of self control – and you’re even less likely to stay on the wagon.


Don’t put yourself through that, dummy.

Instead of dieting, eat whole foods that satisfy and nourish.

“Clean” foods– like the lean proteins, low glycemic index carbohydrates, and heart-healthy fats we use at Factor – will keep you healthy, satiated, and full of energy.

[Tweet “When you enjoy what you eat, you enjoy how you live.”]

With this attitude, you’ll never have to sacrifice brain function for calorie counting again.

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