Lose 30 pounds in 30 days! Lose ten pounds in 10 days! The Fat Loss Diet! The Fat Burning Diet! Do you get tired of all these claims? The question is, do they work? And even if they do, are they better than making small changes over a long time?
Are you one of those people like me who will will lose 5 pounds doing a drastic diet, then once I go back to eating normal (which in my case is pretty darned healthy), gain it all back and then some? What the heck is going on?
Are you one of those people like me who can eat 900 calories a day for a month and still not lose weight? I thought 3500 calories equals one pound…if that is the case, I should be losing several pounds a week! But that isn’t happening! Why not?
Metabolic Adaptation! Just like a bear that hibernates for Winter, when you eat less than 1000 calories a day for a long period of time, your body decides you are in a time of famine. It slows your metabolism and makes it save every form of energy it can. If we really were in a famine situation, we would be so glad about this; but if we are trying to lose weight, we enter into a contest with our own bodies.
So you may be asking me, “are you saying that if I eat 900 calories a day, I won’t lose weight?” No, you will probably start out losing weight; probably pretty quickly, too. You will be so encouraged it works so well, that you will continue as long as you see results. Eventually you will find that your body “adapts”, or goes into “energy saving mode” or what I call Metabolic Adaptation. You plateau. What do you do? Your initial reaction is to think you need to eat even less, but that puts you into really dangerous levels of starvation. At this point, I honestly believe the instinct to survive will kick in, and you will find yourself in front of the refrigerator eating everything in sight…even foods you don’t like! Have you been here before? Often we call it a “binge”, but I believe it is your body saying “hey, there really IS food here! Quick! Eat it all, in case we go back into famine!”
So what do we do? My best advice is to go for the long term goal of overall health; eat healthy and make good choices. One of the reasons we are tempted to try these diets is we don’t trust ourselves to make good choices. Somehow we think an “expert” knows more about what we should eat than we do. In reality, you probably DO know what you really need to do. The problem is usually making those changes “stick” in your life. My suggestion is instead of trying to do those diets in a short time and end up discouraged, choose one or two good habits from that diet and do them for an extended period of time. Give yourself 3 weeks and work on being consistent with those habits, and once you have them built in, add another good habit. Your goal is to be constantly improving your habits.
Then, come listen our talks on our Friday Night Talks a the Body Therapy Center in Swansea, you can find out about our next one HERE. Our goal is to give you helpful information on how to make simple changes over a period of time that can lead to a significant impact on your health. It is also an opportunity to meet others who are interested inlacing healthy lives.
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