Most diets are calorie restrictive and work on a basic mathematical theory being – if you use more energy than you put in you will lose weight. To put it another way – exercise more and burn more calories than what you eat = weight / fat loss. Which on the surface seems to make sense – but unfortunately this is a flawed theory for many reasons which I will now share with you.
We are in fact cavemen (slightly more advanced in terms of technology but realistically we are still just same) we are hard wired for survival – we have metabolisms that can speed up or slow down depending on how much and what type of food you eat. Back in caveman times food supplies were different – they didn’t have supermarkets, fridges and freezes to store food – they could only eat foods that were “in season.” They could only eat what was available. Summer times and warmer weather was the time to feast (and a chance to fatten up) and during winter and the cooler months they ate what they could and hibernated. Your metabolism can change to suit your environment.
Eating fewer calories puts your body under a great deal of stress. When you are stressed you body releases stress hormones (cortisol) which are catabolic – and means that breaks down muscle tissue and stores body fat (usually this is the opposite of what most people want!!!). So you may in fact lose weight but the weight you have lost will in actual fact be muscle tissue that you body has had to break down to use as fuel. This again is part of survival – the body saves fat to use as a last resort.
Most low calorie diets reduce your intake of fat – and again I know that sounds like a good thing, but guess again!!! Fat is vital to HEALTH – yes I will say it again Fat is vital to Health. Fat (I mean good fats too) is not the bad guy as a lot of so called health professionals would have you believe. Fat has the highest concentration of energy (9calories per gram) which is why when you cut it out of your diet your calorie consumption dramatically decreases. But fat doesn’t trigger an insulin response so your body can not store it – it is actually excessive amounts of carbohydrates that are stored in fat. It is also important to note that fat and protein are precursors to all hormones.
So if you follow a low calorie intake diet you will lose weight – which will actually be due to a loss of muscle tissue not fat loss and these results will only last for a short period. You will in fact find that your body fat % will go up and you will feel tired, lethargic and just terrible. If you want to be healthy work out the right foods for you (Metabolic Type) and eat up – get that metabolism pumping!!