The standard weight loss advice in our society has always revolved around eating less. Restricting our calories has been a staple for weight loss for over four decades now. We’ve been taught that the less we eat the more we lose and most mainstream diet programs have built their foundations and empires around this philosophy. The fact is, this method is not only wrong, it’s also metabolically unhealthy.
Restricting your calories may actually be the very thing that’s holding you back from losing weight and in fact may be causing you to horde and even gain more body fat.
Let’s look at the 7 major drawbacks associated with restrictive calorie diets
1. Sacrificing Lean Body Mass
When you restrict calories below the level your body requires to maintain lean body mass (muscle) and meet metabolic demands, you do lose weight, but a good portion of that weight will come directly from your muscle tissue.
2. Crippling Your Fat Burning Machine
Muscle is the physical location where calories are burned for energy, so if you lose weight and any portion of that weight is muscle, you’ve inadvertently crippled your body’s own fat burning potential.
3. Coaxing Metabolic Shifts
When you are in a calorie deprived state your endocrine system attempts to protect you from starvation. This situation will coax the thyroid gland to make metabolic shifts so your body can survive on fewer calories. This, together with muscle loss, will absolutely guarantee that fat loss will become a greater challenge in the future.
4. Creating Body Deficiencies
Restrictive calorie diets can leave you deficient in the vitamins, minerals, amino acids from protein and essential fatty acids crucial for good metabolic health. Also recovery from exercise and other forms of stressful activities will be negatively impacted as well.
5. Hoarding Body Fat
With inadequate calories, your metabolic rate slows to compensate for a perceived bout of starvation. During this period your body will hoard fat to help protect you from famine. This is a genetically programmed starvation response that’s instinctively built into our DNA as a survival mechanism.
6. Weight Loss Regain
Restrictive calorie diets are nearly impossible to stay on for an extended period of time. As a result, when you go back to your normal eating habits, you will more than likely gain more weight back than when you originally started your diet.
7. Yoyo Dieting Response
Most people who engage in restrictive calorie diets will more than likely end up becoming yoyo dieters, returning to the same system or technique that has failed them time and time again.
If all your attempts include a form of calorie deprivation, don’t blame yourself, because it all boils down to misinformation. We’ve been taught this with the thousands of different dieting programs that have been pushed on us.
Therefore, it’s not your fault, you never really failed the diets you’ve tried, the diets actually failed you. They’re set-up this way because you’re great for their bottom-line, but, unfortunately they’re not great for yours.
If you recognize that with each perceived failure you return to the same weight loss program, diet or strategy that failed you, perhaps with a different twist or name, but the same “cut calories approach”, you will also recognize that you need not a repackaging of the same approach, but an altogether new approach.