Can You Really Eat More and Lose Weight?
Recently, someone asked me for my views about the amount of daily calories they should consume, and whether a 800-1000 calories' intake can help to speed up their weight loss. I thought this is something you'd be interested in, so I'm going to share my thoughts with you as well. You've probably heard this many times: consuming too many calories makes us overweight. Of course, this is TRUE. Both eating less or exercising more will most definitely result in weight loss. It's a simple matter of arithmatic -- if your "calories out" is more than your "calories in", you will lose weight.
Thus, it becomes very natural of us to think that if cutting calories is such a good thing, then the more you cut, the better, right? Doesn't this mean that we'll lose the excess weight faster? In reality, it is not so. Making a too-drastic cut in your caloric intake is a very, very bad idea. If you have been dieting for a while, you would notice that the extremely low-calorie diets have been around for the longest time. But interestingly, most of the time they don't lead to permanent weight loss. Nonetheless, I've heard people discussing diets that recommend as low as 800 calories a day! I'm here to tell you that this kind of low levels is downright dangerous for your health.
According to weight loss experts, cutting your intake down to, or under, 1000 calories per day sets you up for an inevitable failure. Why? Because when you reduce your caloric intake down to this low, you are actually sending your body into "starvation mode" by eating far too little. In simple terms, your body will start to think that there is a famine. And in order to maintain your weight while it "thinks" you are starving, your body's metabolism rate will actually slow down. And your body will then start to store the calories into your fat cells instead. If you want to prevent yourself from falling into this starvation mode "trap", you must first know how many calories your body requires everyday to maintain itself. A quick and easy way to do this is to use the tools that are found on our Web site at http://www.weight-loss-for-women-over-40.com/bmr-calorie-needs.htm to give you an estimate, or you can check with a dietitian or nutritionist.
Whenever you restrict calories below the level that you body needs to function, your body senses starvation and switches into the "conservation" mode. The more you restrict calories and the longer you diet, your metabolism will slow down further and the more your fat cells will fight back. Don't forget, you need your metabolism to burn your fat into energy for your body to function properly. Besides, there is another reason why extreme low-cal diets won't work -- it is not an easy feat to stay on it for long. Dieters who have gone on these extreme low-cal diets would also experience unfavorable side effects such as headaches, weakness, light-headedness and a reduction in their levels of concentration. Finally, when you experience extreme hunger, the next thing you'll tend to do is to "binge eat". And guess what? In the end, after all the initial effort you've put into losing the weight, you will actually gain back more weight than you had lost during the diet. And the worst thing is: The next time you try to go on a diet again, your body gets smarter and the fat cells will expand more to store more calories as they are getting ready to go through another "famine". Your metabolism will also be reduced tremendously. You'll find that you are not able to lose the weight as fast or as easy as the previous time.
And you'll get frustrated because you've had to deprive yourself of your favorite foods. So what do you do next? You overeat again. So, stay away from these low-cal diets. They aren't worth your time! Copyright 2006 Tracy Lee.