Eating Less Does not Always Work.
The reality nevertheless stays…if you consume greater calories than you burn, you will save the extra as body fats. if you consume fewer calories than you burn, you will lose fats.
If fat loss have been as black and white as energy in us. energy out, then how do you provide an explanation for why some overweight humans devour less than lean humans, but they nonetheless can’t lose a gram? And how is it feasible for someone with a 2200-calorie maintenance degree to
eat only 800 to 1000 energy a day with out dropping any weight?
The rationale is quite simple: Over lots of years, people have developed a weight-regulating mechanism that recognizes whilst there’s a meals shortage and so decreases energy expenditure to shield you. This survival mechanism is known as The Starvation Response
The Starvation Response
You can survive for months without food. You’ve probably heard stories about people getting lost in the mountains or wilderness for months with no food at all (only water), or being confined in a prisoner of war camp for years with only tiny amounts of food. What makes surviving under these conditions possible is your body’s remarkable ability to slow down its rate of calorie burning.
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When your body senses calorie deprivation (eating less) it says to itself, It looks like this is all the food were going to be getting for a while, so we better stop burning so many calories and start saving our energy. This way we will be able to survive longer on the little amount of food we have.
The starvation response developed largely from exposure to adverse environmental conditions like droughts, natural disasters and food shortages.
Furthermore, there were no supermarkets ten thousand years ago – if people wanted to eat, they had to either grow their food or kill it. It’s likely that at times, ancient man didn’t know when the next meal was coming and may have only eaten once or twice a week. The starvation response evolved in humans to ensure the survival of the species.
Your body can’t tell the difference between dieting and starvation
This wonderful feature of human evolution is a blessing if you’re stranded out in the wilderness with no food. During periods of starvation, the body slowly begins to feed off itself, burning fat stores, muscle and even internal organs for energy.
If you continued to burn calories at your normal rate, your limited reserves of stored energy would be exhausted quickly and you would die very soon after you food supply was cut off. The starvation response keeps you alive longer.
Unfortunately, this same life-preserving mechanism can work against you when you’re trying to lose weight because your body can’t tell the difference between
dieting and starvation!
Severe calorie cutting (eating less) always sends your body into starvation mode. There’s nothing you can do to stop this from happening other than to avoid severe calorie shortages!
7 reasons why you should stay away from very low calorie diets
The consequences of low calorie dieting alias eating less are automatic and unavoidable. The responses are metabolic, hormonal, and psychological in nature, and include:
- decreased metabolism
- loss of muscle
- increased activity of fat-storing enzymes and hormones
- decreased activity of fat-burning enzymes and hormones
- decreased thyroid output
- increased appetite and hence increased chance of regaining weight
- decreased energy and work capacity
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Let’s take a quick look at each.
- Very low calorie diets slow down your metabolic rate
The first thing that occurs during a severe calorie shortage is a decrease in your metabolic rate. The lower your calories, the slower your metabolism becomes.
Simply put; when you eat less, your body burns less. When you eat more, your body burns i.e. eating more = five times a day in small portions
This metabolic slowdown has been scientifically proven that when calories are restricted, your metabolism decreases by at least 20-30%.
With severe calorie restriction, some studies have shown that resting metabolism can become depressed by as much as 45%! That’s the equivalent of having your daily energy expenditure drop from 3000 calories per day to only 1650 calories per day!
This is why, after prolonged low calorie dieting, you can eat very little food and still not lose weight.
- Very low calorie diets make you lose muscle
The most devastating effect of the low calorie diet is the loss of muscle tissue. Once the starvation alarm is triggered, your body begins looking for ways to conserve energy. Muscle is metabolically active tissue. Getting rid of it is the body’s way of decreasing energy expenditure.
It’s easy for your body to use muscle for energy. This process is known Gluconeogenesis converting muscle into glucose (that is pure biochemistry). This includes skeletal muscles, and internal organs, even your heart muscle!
Study after study has shown that very low calorie diets without exercise will always cause 40 – 50% of the weight loss to come from lean tissue. Many diets, especially those that are low in carbohydrates, cause large losses in water weight.
Between the loss of water, glycogen and muscle, fully 75% of the weight you lose on such plans is not fat!
The initial weight loss on most diets is very deceiving, giving you only the illusion of success. Even with exercise, if a diet is too restrictive, much of the weight loss will still be lean tissue, so
To lose body fat, you must be in negative calorie balance (a calorie deficit). You can create a calorie deficit by increasing activity, by decreasing calories or with a combination of both.
15-20% is the recommended starting calorie reduction for fat loss. This is considered a small calorie deficit and a small calorie deficit is the key to losing fat while maintaining muscle. i.e To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by reducing your calories slightly 15-20% below your “maintenance level” (or keeping your calories the same and increasing your activity above your current level).
With a 2100 calorie maintenance level, 20% would be a 420 calorie deficit, which would put you at 1680 calories per day where you would have to raise calories at regular intervals using the zig-zag method This will trick your body and prevent your metabolism from slowing down when you have a large calorie deficit
The first step in designing your personal fat loss plan is to calculate the total number of calories you burn up every day. This is known as your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). TDEE is also known as your “maintenance level,” because this is the level where your calorie deposits are exactly equal to your calorie withdrawals.
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TDEE is the total number of calories your body burns in 24 hours, including basal metabolic rate and all activities. Once you know your maintenance level, you will have a reference point from which to start your program.
Typical calorie averages for men and women:
For maintaining weight (TDEE):
For losing weight:
Six Factors influencing your daily calorie needs are; Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), Activity Level, Weight, Lean Body Mass (LBM) Age and Gender
- Very low calorie diets increase activity of fat-storing enzymes and decrease the activity of fat burning enzymes
The chief fat storing enzyme is called Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL). When you drop your calories too low, your body will produce more LPL and less fat burning enzymes.
In other words, when you don’t eat enough, your body changes its chemistry to make it easier to store fat in the future.
- Very low calorie diets decrease output of thyroid
The Thyroid gland is largely responsible for the regulation of your basal metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories at rest). When your body senses a severe reduction in calories, there is a corresponding reduction in the output of active thyroid hormone (T3) and hence a decrease in your metabolic rate and fewer calories burned.
- Very Low calorie dieting increases the chance of rebound weight gain
Almost everyone loses weight initially on a very low calorie diet, but it never takes long before the body adjusts itself and starts conserving energy. That ís when you hit a plateau. Once you hit the plateau, it becomes much harder to keep losing weight even if your calories are extremely low.
This lack of continued results, combined with gnawing hunger pangs and insatiable craving, usually causes people to give up out of sheer frustration. They go off their diet, the weight creeps back on and their body fat ends up back where they started – only now they have less muscle and a slower metabolism.
With a slower metabolism, what used to be a maintenance level now becomes a surplus, and the weight comes right back on. Most people gain back all the weight they lost and some gain back even more, leaving them fatter than when they started.
- Very low calorie diets increase appetite and cravings.
When your body goes into starvation mode, this triggers increased appetite and cravings in an attempt to get you to eat more food. The hunger and cravings can be so strong that you become ravenous. Itís virtually impossible stay on a diet when you are voraciously hungry and all you can think about is food. Few people have that much willpower.
- Very low calorie diets decrease your energy and work capacity
The first sign of under nutrition is the loss of energy and the inability to sustain prolonged physical work. There is a direct relationship between calories consumed and the physical work a person can do.
To lose body fat, there must be a calorie deficit. However, there’s more than one way to create a calorie deficit. One way is to decrease your calorie intake from
food. The other is to increase the amount of calories you burn though exercise.
Of the two ways to create a calorie deficit, burning the calories through exercise is the superior method. This is because large calorie deficits cause muscle loss and trigger the starvation response.
The most effective approach to fat loss is to eat more (keep the calorie reduction small) and let the exercise burn the fat. You don’t have to starve yourself you just have to choose the right foods.
Perhaps they believe that eating more food and working out at the same time will cancel each other out. Maybe they shy away from the hard work involved in exercise or they have a physical condition that makes them not to be involved in exercising
(the only exception).
Here are the reasons why exercise – not dieting – is the superior method of losing body fat:
- Exercise ñ aerobic and weight training – raises your metabolic
- Exercise creates a caloric deficit without triggering the starvation
- Exercise is good for your Dieting is harmful to your health.
- Exercise, especially weight training, signals your body to keep your muscle and not burn it for Dieting without exercise can result in up to 50% of the weight loss to come from lean body mass.
- Exercise increases fat-burning enzymes and
- Exercise increases the cells sensitivity to insulin so that carbohydrates are burned for energy and stored as glycogen rather then being stored as
Types of exercises
There are two classes of exercises;
2. Anaerobic exercise
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Never combine both fat and
the carbohydrate in the absence