I know that many of you get a sense of panic and desperation when it comes to weight loss. It seems that good ole common sense is not so common and you may put your brain on hold while you try some crazy strategies to lose a pound…
How many of you have done the cayenne pepper/maple syrup diet? The grapefruit diet? The cabbage soup diet? Come on, fess up…
My point is, if I were to ask you the science behind these diets, your logical self would be at a loss. But the emotional side of you may be willing to grasp at any idea that may get you results.
And, in the defense of some of these schemes, weight loss can occur.
But not LASTING HEALTHY weight loss.
I wanted to draw a picture for you that will show you what happens with ANY of these ‘diet’ plans.
First, you know that you need to create a calorie deficit when you want to lose weight. You need to eat a little less than what your body’s metabolism will burn in a day.
The problem with some of these programs, aside from not being a nutritionally balanced, is that they may be TOO calorically restrictive and this can cause a series of events that sets you up for WEIGHT GAIN and more discouragement.
So, here goes:
- You cut calories (now this can be on a crazy scheme, or even a well intentioned nutritionally balanced but restrictive plan).
- Your weight starts to drop. This is often from the reduction in carbohydrates. When you eat carbohydrates your body holds onto water (for every gram of carb, your body needs 4 grams of water to process it). So, with restricted carb intake, you will immediately drop water weight.
- This provides immediate feed back and the motivation to stay the course and possibly drop calories even further.
- In an effort to protect itself, your body, in its effort for survival, will lower your metabolism so that you actually can ‘get by’ with eating less. Your body is just so efficient that way, it’s made to last famines and it doesn’t know that this self inflicted famine is desired.
- Your body holds onto fat stores in this effort for survival and it just learns how to survive on fewer calories while you continue to provide it with less fuel.
- One method of survival is to look for alternative fuel sources. muscle. So you start to burn your own muscle for energy instead of the fat stores that your body wants to save for a rainy day.
- Muscle is the metabolically active tissue that helps keep your metabolism going. So when you have less muscle, you have less potential to burn the calories you eat and you will lower your overall metabolism.
- With a lower metabolism you feel tired and have no energy to put into your day or workouts, so you burn even fewer calories.
- Your motivation starts to wane.
- You begin to crave sugar and fat as a way to increase your energy levels.
- Any calories you ingest will be stored more readily as fat since your body believes it’s in starvation mode.
- You FEEL like you’re starving so you actually start to eat more and possibly cheat on the restricted diet you’re on.
- You’ll ‘fall off the diet wagon’, go on a binge and easily gain back any weight you’ve lost and more since now you’ve made your metabolism SO efficient by getting by on so few calories.
Was this what you had in mind for losing those last 10 pounds?
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