Today I am going to talk to you about why we do NOT give our clients restrictive diets.
How many times have you become so fed up with not losing weight that you have just resorted to reducing your caloric intake to next to nothing? Or when was the last time you read some article about how Beyonce lost 30lbs and survived only on cucumber water and the energy of the universe!?
These fad diets and highly restrictive protocols are nothing more than crash course diets that will set you up for failure!
It’s true, reducing your caloric intake IS probably the easiest way to lose weight, and many of these diets actually do help people lose weight in the short term. However, what is not accounted for with many fad diets, is the body’s physiological adaptations and hormone changes that accompany an extreme long-term calorie deficit.
This is the primary reason why statistics show that 66% of dieters REGAIN the weight they lost! It’s no fault of their own; they just don't realize that our bodies are fundamentally designed to hold on to fat!
Survival Mode & Metabolic Adaptations
Think about it like this. Our bodies have been programmed by hundreds of years of adaptations for survival. When food was scarce our bodies would work for us by storing what calories we did consume in the form of body fat for later use.
Therefore, our bodies don’t know what’s happening when we extremely limit our caloric intake without any reprieve. It doesn’t know we want perfectly toned glutes and set of 6 pack abs, it’s simply trying to survive.
Even though we now live in the 21st century where food is usually readily available, absolutely whenever we need it, our bodies don’t recognize that as a possibility and immediately send us in to a state of survival. When dieting, hormones are down regulated, metabolism slows, hunger hormones are released, anabolic hormones aren’t released properly, and “adaptive thermogenesis” occurs. All in all, this means the body finds any way possible to hold on to fat!
In fact, one of the biggest reasons crash dieters regain the weight they lost and, more often, even MORE weight, is because the majority of the weight they lost during their extreme diet was muscle tissue!
Why does this happen? Muscle tissue is a metabolically active tissue. This means that it requires calories (energy) for muscle to be preserved. Fat tissue on the other hand, requires no calories (energy) to be preserved, it IS energy. It’s the body’s stored form of energy.
This is a no brainer, cut your calories too low and your body will attack muscle tissue first before fat tissue. If the body’s main goal is worrying about energy for survival, why would it keep the tissue that BURNS energy over the tissue that IS energy?!?
As you can see, cutting calories too extremely, can wreak havoc on your weight loss goals. But not to worry! There are steps you can take to ensure you protect your hormones and your metabolism when dieting and I will be sharing more on that later!