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Why Calorie Restriction Results in Weight Gain

August 27th, 2010

Dieting makes it hard to maintain a healthy weight

It’s no secret I mistrust the weight loss plans found in many health and fitness magazines. I feel they don’t take into account all aspects of how our bodies burn calories an

d that they end up sending readers off in pursuit off what amounts to a starvation diet.

I used one example in the article Do Magazine Diets Sabotage Weight Loss?, in which women were instructed to consume 1,400 calories per day while getting regular exercise. After all factors are accounted for, women following this diet are left with only 500 to 800 calories to fuel their vital organs (the number of calories required to do this is known as BMR), much less than they need. Is it just me or does this plan sound unhealthy, even for a women with a low BMR of 1,200.

The reason so few calories would

be left over is that about 140 would be burned off through digestion, 400 through exercise and several hundred more through non-exercise activity thermogenesis, which is the remainder of the movements we make throughout the day. Many diet plans don’t seem to take into account the combined effects of diet and exercise.

Will you still lose weight?
Some of you are probably thinking, who cares if it’s healthy, at least I’ll lose the weight. But that might not be entirely true. When our bodies aren’t getting enough calories they start conserving and metabolism slows. It’s that very same ability that kept our ancestors alive in times of famine. When your body thinks food is scarce it begins to store more calories as fat.

So while you may think restricting calories to the extreme will help you meet your goals it can actually do the opposite. When you finally give up on these impossible diet plans, as most people do, your body won’t automatically go back to burning the amount of calories it did before you started, but chances are you’ll go back to eating the same amount of food. This is the reason people quit diets and end up weighing more than before they started.

Calorie restriction causes a loss of lean muscle tissue, which is one reason your metabolism will slow. During caloric deficit the body can’t build muscle because it’s too busy using it for fuel. Why would you want to destroy the very thing that speeds up your metabolism and allows you to take in more calories?

If you’re still not convinced, I took some weight loss canadian online pharmacy and weight maintenance advice I gathered from other websites and applied it to myself. For the most part the results don’t even come close to my actual situation. If I followed their advice I would be one unhappy and unhealthy woman.

But don’t give up on your healthy living plans, it is possible to make positive changes in your body that you’ll be able to maintain. As far as I’m concerned it’s a lot easier to lose weight than diet “experts” would have you believe.

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