Heavily restricted diets reducing your calorie intake by anything more than 30% is very dangerous. Those 1,000 diets, get you dropping weight quickly for a short period of time, but then lead to very serious health issues long term. And the moment you stop that level of restriction, you not only gain all your weight back, you gain it with interest!
Calories are like your weekly $$ budget:
Think of your calories as money. Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of calories you need at rest; in other words how many minimum calories you need to survive if you were in a coma. Think of your BMR as the same as your weekly compulsory expenses, such as your rent or mortgage, groceries, utilities, fuel, etc. These bills have to get paid. If you don’t earn enough money to afford them all, you have to cut from somewhere. You might choose to walk instead of drive to cut down on fuel cost. You might buy less groceries. You might not be able to go to the movies, or buy a new top etc. You sacrifice to make ends meet.
Your calories are the same. If you need a certain number for basic survival, and you are consuming less than what you need, your body will compensate somewhere to make ends meet.
Here are some examples of what the body will sacrifice to make ends meet:
• It will start off slowing down your metabolism so that you are not burning as much fuel. This will lead to fatigue and feeling lazy, so you don’t have the energy to move, again, so that you conserve much needed fuel.
• The laziness sees you reaching for convenient food which are usually full of negative calories; these are calories that are converted to stored fat with no nutrition value.
• It starts to cut your appetite to that you don’t eat as much. Digestion burns calories, so it is trying to conserve fuel. Catch 22, not hungry so don’t eat, not eating reduces your appetite. Snow ball effect onto everything else.
• It will start storing as much fat as possible as back up fuel to make up for the fuel it is not getting from calories. This about people in third world countries; if calories restriction worked these guys would have 6-packs instead of round bellies!
• It will start breaking down muscle tissue as it takes less energy to use break that down for fuel that to break down fat for fuel. Now if the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn, losing muscle, reduces how much fat you burn! Defeats the purpose of cutting calories!
• It will start reducing your libido and hormones cutting down on anything that is not necessary for basic survival. The body can’t afford for you to be burning much needed calories having fun, when it needs it for survival. So you lose the desire. The reduction in hormone production then leads to menstrual issues which then have a snow ball effect on your overall health, performance and your fertility. Goes for males and females.
• All this sees you gaining more fat.
• The reduced calories slow down the function of your thyroid, which is vital for your body temperature, regulating your heart rate, the rate of your metabolism, helps brain function, enables cell growth, supports the nervous system so that you have better concentration and reflexes, improves muscle function, improves digestion and much more!
• The slowing of the Thyroid can then lead to Hypothyroidism, or under-active Thyroid. Symptoms include feeling cold due to a drop in body temperature, slower heart rate, brain fog, fatigue, muscle soreness, inflammation, forgetfulness, irritability, poor reflexes, poor concentration, constipation, bloating, and weight gain.
As you can see, not eating enough, or going on restrictive calorie diets can actually defeat the purpose, once again proving that calories in versus calories out, is not the incredible theory people make it out to be! Not eating enough makes you gain weight! Wait what??? You heard!
On top of everything that I have already mentioned, skipping meals, not eating enough in your meals, excessive fasting, excessively restrictive calorie diets, lead to binge eating, eating disorders and mental health issues.
This can then lead to:
• Overeating as a results of binging due to needing calories desperately
• Feeling guilty for binging resulting in emotional eating, and then overeating
• Making poor food choices because your body is desperate for energy so craves things such as toast, high sugar food, anything that will give you a quick energy boost. These secrete dopamine, a hormone that makes you feel good, like a drug. Just as any drug, in order to have the same level of ‘feel good’ you then need a higher and higher dose, so you then keep craving these sugar treats, resulting in over eating.
• All of this of course results in weight gain. Defeating your original purpose once again!
The worst part, is that all of this put together, reduces the health of your body by reducing organ function, increasing inflammation, increasing stress, and ultimately increasing the risk of developing things such as Diabetes Type 2, Heart Disease and Cancer. Not eating enough, effects your mortality.
What’s the solution?
Eat three five meals per day. Include a portion of protein in every meal, a serve of good fat and half of your plate being vegetables. This will keep you feeling fuller for longer, reduce health issues, mood swings etc, give you more energy, stop moods swings and help you drop body fat! The more of this type of food you eat, you leaner you get! Yes, you heard right! How many people do you know that gained weight eating chicken and broccoli? Exactly, none!
People often gasp at how much food we get people to eat in Nutrition Coaching. But they lean up!!!! Go eat food! Stop starving yourself!!!
– Coach Terri