Okay here it is folks,
This is, in my estimation, the number one and quite possibly, worst mistake people make over and over again when they try to lose weight, heck I know it is an easy trap to fall into because I fell into it myself when I first started out trying to lose weight!
The biggest mistake people make when trying to lose weight is they don’t eat enough food! Yes, we need to create a calorie deficit in order to lose weight but dropping your calories too drastically by skipping too many meals and eating very little calories is a surefire way to lose weight the wrong way.
Let’s discuss why. Firstly, yes you will lose a lot of weight doing things this way but a lot of that weight will be precious muscle and as I discussed in my previous blog post about muscle vs fat, you’ll know that muscle weighs more than fat as well as muscle being vital to a fast metabolism. When you loose weight too fast and loose muscle, you’re actually decreasing your metabolic rate in turn hampering your weight loss.
Another problem with restricting calories too much is from the point of view that it’s easy to malnourish the body. The body needs vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from food. It needs carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the right amounts and by dropping your calories too low, you’re not going to be able to get the adequate amount of nutrients and function properly on a daily basis.
Yo Yo Dieting
Yo yo dieting is defined as losing weight based on caloric restriction and then gaining weight back when the person “goes off their diet”. Now, here’s the biggest problem with yo yo dieting and yo yo dieters… Firstly, the problem with yo yo dieting is that in most cases, the dieters drop calories too low, lose lean muscle tissue and reduce their metabolic rate. The latter means that now their metabolism was slower than it was to begin with, when they start eating as they used to, they’ll find that they tend to put on more weight than they had in the first place before they tried to lose the weight! An incredibly frustrating thing for sure!
The second problem with Yo Yo dieting is that it assumes that dieting is a periodic thing and not a complete lifestyle change! Dieting to look good in your bathing suit really irks me because in reality, if you want healthy weight loss, focus on living a healthy and fit lifestyle all year round! It’s the attitude that weight loss and dieting is a periodical thing that makes most people lose hope, quit on their fitness goals or gain more weight than when the first started. When you start an stop things, you never build momentum or create the right, long term habits in the first place!
Your body is a very very clever little machine and its number one priority among all things is to ensure your survival. When you diet and restrict calories too extremely, you go into whats commonly known as starvation mode and your body in turn goes into survival mode. Fat is the most calorie dense nutrient and is stored quite easily by the body. When you starve yourself over a period of time your body basically says to itself, “Right, I’m not getting enough food here so I’m going to store fat for energy and burn the precious muscle I have now for some energy”… Is that what you really want?
The better way
In my opinion, the correct way to lose weight both safely and effectively without resorting to starvation diets is to restrict your daily calorie intake more moderately. By working out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (the amount of calories you burn per day) and then deducting 500 from this number is a good caloric goaland can easily be achieved by cleaning up your diet and partaking in exercise or physical activity. Exercise is very important, in particular, resistance exercise mainly due to the fact that resistance exercise such as weight training can help lean muscle tissue develop thus helping you boost your metabolism but exercise also has many other benefits including cardiovascular benefits (heart health), stress reduction, mood elevation and to help stave off illness and disease