Myth Buster – Low Calorie Diets

Summer is on its way, so everywhere you look there is something pushing you to lose weight, tone up and to get ‘beach body ready‘ (I will discuss my views on this in another blog). But when it comes to this diet season, just like in January, you are hit with ‘Low Calorie Diets’ or FAD Diets that are set to get you the body of your dreams faster than any other – but do they really work?!

The answer to this question is yes, they do.

Shocked aren’t you?

By reducing your calorie intake you are pushing your body into a deficit of energy, so this forces the body to use its resources to keep it functioning.

HOWEVER

They are certainly not sustainable in the long-term. They can cause damage to your health and leave you with a lot of extra work to undo this, which you weren’t set on doing in the beginning.

Going too far below your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) can have adverse effects on weight loss, as you send your body into starvation mode, so what ever you put in your body will hold on to, as it believes it is ‘under attack‘ and needs to have all the resources it can to keep you living. This is why when many people go on a diet, they do not loose as much weight as they hope.

FAD diets will often eliminate certain foods or even food groups from your diet, such as carbohydrate – but as I have spoken about before, removing any food group from your daily intake can make you unwell and cause you to have deficiencies in your vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal health.

Your metabolism will slow down as it is not getting in enough food to sustain its normal function, and so the body starts to reserve its energy for the most important organs in the body, such as the heart.

You will find yourself with very low energy levels due to the lack of nutrition as you are increasing your activity levels but not giving anything back to the body in order to keep it up. Mood swings will be an effect of chemical imbalances and so you will become far more likely to snap at your friends and family.

VLCD

This stands for ‘Very Low Calorie Diets’ and is a very dangerous way to go about loosing weight because it carries risks of many different health problems if not done under medical supervision. By only consuming below 800 calories, you put yourself at risk of developing issues such as gallstones, heart problems, anaemia, along with others.

I know all too well how going this low with your nutrition can change your whole life, and it could even end up critical.

This is a serious problem and you must never under-go anything like this unless a professional has you under full care. Women on average are meant to consume around 2,000 calories and 2,500 for men.  Obviously this is a guideline as each individual is different and requires a different amount of fuel.

Don’t want to continue the ramble of scientific facts and overload you all, but to summarise please take any ‘low calorie diet’ or FAD diet with a pinch of salt (unless they eliminate salt!) and be cautious about using them towards achieving your health and fitness goals.

Aim for a balanced lifestyle from the get go, include nutritious whole foods from all food groups, maintain a regular eating pattern and increase your activity levels to move your body the way it is intended! But also enjoy the things you love along the way, as deprivation can lead to a massive temptation to over-do it!

Make your journey to happiness a happy one by LISTENING to what YOUR body is saying is right for YOU.

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