Eat More & Lose Weight
By Pepe Laflamme, M.Sc. Kinesiology, CPT Director, Nu-Form Fitness & Wellness
I know what you are thinking and I am not crazy! Let me explain how this in fact may just be true for you. If you are one of the weight conscious individuals who unknowingly looks to the "I'll just eat less and drop the weight" solution to weight management. I can tell you right now, that solution will never result in a healthy, permanent fat loss and here is why:
Self-Preservation Your body has some very powerful, primitive self-preservation methods to insure maximum chances of survival in times of food shortage. Even though body fat is stored energy, your body will defend and protect it voraciously if you go on any diet that limits the calories (food energy) you consume below 20% of your current intake.
Energy Your body will burn stored carbohydrates (Glycogen) quickly and shed the associated water as its first defense of your body fat. The result is the seemingly easy initial loss of an average of 5 -12 lbs. of weight with many diets. Remember, this is lost carbohydrate and water mainly. You still have relatively the same body fat as you did when you started.
Metabolism Stick with the diet more than just a couple days and your body will go full force with its next line of defense. You will have a significant drop in your metabolic level (calories burned on a daily basis for survival). That means while you are struggling to limit the calories (food energy) going into your body, your physiology will shift to use less and less energy compared to before the diet, fighting even your best efforts all the way.
Muscle over Fat As if the situation doesn't seem frustrating enough; keep with the diet for more than a week and your body breaks out the trump card on you. To protect the fat stores for future hardship, your body will start to look for calories in your own muscle. This is disastrous when you understand that muscle is your best ally to burning calories and therefore metabolizing fat. The less muscle you have, the fewer calories you will burn. Muscle (firmness, tone, etc.) is hard to come by and absolutely the last thing you want to lose in the battle of the bulge! Protect your muscle and you will save your metabolism.
Cravings Early on in your diet when your body isn't getting the calories (energy) it needs, your brain will start with hormonal messages making you seek out dense sources of energy. So, while you are practically starving yourself your brain is sending out not so subtle messages to eat sweets and fatty foods. Great - Just what you need now!
Well, as you may have surmised by now, restricted calorie diets are not only destined to fail you in the end when it comes to fat loss, but also ruin your metabolism, cause you to lose muscle and end up fatter (percentage-wise) than before you started, compromise your nutritional status, and more; all while torturing you along the way. Diets are bad. Never Diet.
In our next installment you will get some tried & true, scientific, nutritiously sound and real life pointers for customizing your diet (nutritional habits) plan for health and success. For more information, please feel free to contact Pepe by e-mail or stop by Nu-Form Fitness.