Low Calorie Diets Cause Weight Gain
If you’re like me, you’ve tried a fad diet. Fad diets are meant to get you lean, FAST. There’s just one big problem… they’re NOT sustainable.
How many of you have tried a fad diet, lost a bunch of weight really fast, and then got stuck? Or you are coming out of a fad diet, and you notice your weight sky rockets faster than you lost it. You lower your calories as low as you can handle without starving yourself or giving into intense cravings (and trust me, the cravings get BAAAD), and you lose a few pounds at first, then nothing changes. You feel desperate, confused, angry… you feel like you were never meant to lose weight, and you will be how you are now forever. Trust me, its NOT your fault. You’re not a failure, the diet you’re following is. It sets you up for failure right from the start, and here’s why…
As you consume fewer calories, your body adapts and compensates for this low-calorie intake by burning less energy, and we all know that you need to burn energy to lose weight. Simply put, the less you eat, the less energy you burn. However, the more you eat, the MORE energy you burn. By giving your body more whole, nutrient dense foods (and less processed foods), your metabolism will increase, and before you know it, your body will be a fat burning machine.
Additionally, not ingesting sufficient amounts of a certain nutrient, sets your body up for failure. All nutrients work hand in hand with each other. Having too much or too little of one nutrient, affects how another certain nutrient works in your body. For example, not eating enough carbohydrates may cause your body to use protein as fuel, which means protein in your body is doing less work to build up your muscles. Therefore, you waste valuable protein by just burning it up, and you increase your risk of dehydration (a side effect of burning too much protein).
I know this from firsthand experience. A few years ago, when my binge eating was at its WORST (I’m talking binges 3-4 times a week), I didn’t realize this, but I was NOT giving my body a sufficient amount of food. Now, I’m eating 3100+ calories a day, I have NO urges to binge, and I’m actually leaner and toner now than I was when I was restricting calories. I would restrict for a few days, binge, restrict again, binge, you see the cycle? It’s not what you want.
However, you cant just increase your calories over night and expect it to solve all your problems. That will ultimately result in a lot of fat gain. Instead, by slowly increasing your calories over a period of time (AKA reverse dieting), you can increase your calories with minimal fat gain. There is a science behind calculating your TDEE (the amount of calories you burn throughout the day withe exercise), knowing exactly how much you should be eating, and what macronutrient ratio is right for you. This is where hiring a coach comes in… By calculating your TDEE and calorie needs, slowly increasing your starting calories by 100-150 calories a week, and incorporating more NUTRIENT dense foods into your diet, you can lose weight through just eating more food. Make sense?
Bottom line, food is fuel. Treat your body with respect. Give it what it needs, and I promise, you will start seeing the results you want.