Calorie Restricted Diets

Why they often don’t work.

There is a common pattern of yo-yo dieting: cut calorie intake, increase exercise, lose weight initially, weight loss then slows, you feel constantly cold, hungry, miserable. You give up as your weight loss stops. Then you put all the weight back and often end up heavier than when you started.

The “Calories In – Calories Out” traditional dieting model works something like this:

For example, normally you eat 2,000 calories a day and your metabolism burns 2,000 calories a day. 2,000 calories  in – 2,000 out = 0. So to lose weight you reduce your calorie intake to 1,500 per day. 1,500 calories in – 2,000 out = -500. Great! You start to lose weight BUT…..

Your body, finely tuned over 100,000s of years of evolution thinks: hang on, there seems to be a famine going on, we had better reduce the metabolic rate to conserve energy. So your metabolic rate may reduce to to 1,500 calories a day. Now 1,500 calories in – 1,500 out = 0. Hmm, not so good. .. no more weight loss, low metabolism = hunger, cold, tired. What’s the point in feeling like this for no weight loss?! Grr! So you go back to your normal diet of 2,000 calories, but your metabolic rate takes a few months to catch up. So now 2,000 calories in – 1,500 out = +500. Eek! The weight piles back on and you do not sustain the weight loss and often, worse still, you end up heavier than when you started.

The problem is that carbohydrates make you hungry. Once you control your carbohydrate intake, you can control your hunger and your appetite. Then it becomes much easier to avoid overeating.