If you want to lose weight, abort the “operation starvation” plan because that doesn’t work. According to nutritionists and dietitians, less food does not equate to more weight lost. This seems like a backward theory to most people, especially when you consider that overeating leads to weight gain. As it turns out, eating more is an essential component of losing weight.
Why You Have To Eat More To Lose Weight:
When you put your body in a caloric deficit for a few days, you should not experience side effects. People who regularly maintain a dangerously low caloric intake can cause the body to enter starvation mode. The body is not stupid and understands that it must hold on to resources when you don’t provide it with sufficient nutrients and calories.
The body can survive on practically nothing for weeks, but metabolism slows in order to maintain a balanced state as a result of a caloric deficit. The same thing happens for extreme dieters. You cannot expect to lose weight if the body slows things down to conserve resources. Not eating enough slows the fat burning process and the body can start pulling resources from muscles and bones to keep you alive. Even though you exercise and reduce your caloric intake, it becomes incredibly difficult for the body to release weight. You need calories to lose weight!
The Solution? Eat More Food:
You should never have a calorie deficit of more than 400-500 calories, or 20% less than your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). The goal is to eat enough to support your bodily processes, but not overload with foods so that you have extra calories that get stored in fat reserves. It’s not just about the amount you eat, though. The quality of what you eat plays a big role because a large plate of pasta doesn’t provide the same nutrition as a bowl of sautéed vegetables with sweet potatoes and quinoa.
Yes, you should absolutely consume food if you want to lose weight, but the quality of your food plays a big role in weight loss. Worry less about caloric intake and focus more on eating a balanced diet comprised of high quality foods. The reason for this is because the body processes and uses the calories from healthier foods much easier than it does from unhealthy foods. If you eat 1,000 calories of broccoli, it is not the same as eating 1,000 calories of French fries and a burger.
Foods interact with your biochemistry, and your body adapts to the food with every bite. The historic notion that “you lose weight if you burn more calories than you eat” is slightly outdated. The more updated and correct assessment is that a calorie is not a calorie. Living on ramen noodles and protein bars is not the same as maintaining a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and lean protein.
Develop a healthy relationship with your food and don’t fear it when you are trying to lose weight. Focusing on the right food is the way to lose weight. You’ll be filled up with no need for unhealthy foods, and you’ll feel better throughout your weight loss journey!