Low Calorie Diets

 A lot of weight-loss diets are based on the truth that if more calories are consumed than are burned, the body converts and stores those extra calories as fat.

From that is would seem logical that the way to lose fat would be to cut back on calorie consumption.

A myriad of diets and weight-loss programs are set up to do just that in a number of different ways.

Theoretically they should have worked, but didn’t; thus going on and off low-calorie diets practically have become a lifestyle for many women.

The reason low calorie diets don’t work is because the body runs by many involuntary systems (systems which perform their functions without any conscious direction from us, like the heart beating, breathing, etc) that have never taken lessons in logic.

One of the involuntary functions the body carries out is to store fat for emergencies. While the dangers of starving to death are very slim in this country, there’s no way to tell our bodies not to worry and to discontinue that service.

After observing the body’s tendency to store certain amounts of fat under different circumstances, scientists have developed the ‘set-point theory”.

According to the ‘set-point theory’, there’s a mechanism in each of our bodies which causes the body to create more fat than normal (and hold on to the present fat stores) in times of emergency-like famine – to maintain whatever the amount of fat a person’s body is ‘set’ at.

When anyone goes on a low-calorie diet, the body doesn’t know that it’s been receiving less calories because the person is trying to get rid of fat. Instead, when the body suddenly starts receiving fewer calories than usual, its emergency alarm systems go off and the body gears up to cope with harder times ahead.

Metabolism (the process by which our bodies convert food into energy) slows down so the body can make more efficient use of the little food its getting and turns more of it into fat than it normally would. To have as much fat in store as possible for the famine ahead, the body begins burning muscle protein so it can keep the present and newly-created fat on reserve.

The body keeps this up even after it starts receiving food again – just to be sure it’s ready in case there’s another famine. This is why so many people experience getting fatter and gaining more weight when they return to eating normal amounts of food (or even a little less) after a low-calorie diet. When this happens, the usual reaction is to start looking for another crash or fad diet to try for awhile (at least one that works this time). Thus the vicious cycle of on-and-off dieting is started.

The only way to get off this vicious cycle is to speed up the metabolism and lower the ‘set-point’ by:

Giving up on-and-off again dieting forever.

Eating at regularly-scheduled times each day.

Eating at least 1,200 calories a day (calories are not our enemy – just a way to measure energy).

Make every calorie count but not eating empty-calorie foods.

Doing some sort of aerobic exercise.


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One Response to “Low Calorie Diets”
  1. syble edwards says:

    I have been eating at regular times each day and am slowly gaining weight, actually am 10 pounds heavier than 1 yr. ago. and, exercise most every day. any additional help will be appreciated. Thanks.

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