As the new year approaches, the onset of diet talk sets in. You have read up on which type you want to do and have tried countless others before. Why haven’t they ever worked but this year you are convinced that they will??
You restrict your calories and eat like a bird. Seems like if you were eating less you would lose more weight. Less calories equates to weight loss…. not exactly. Your progress has stalled, and you are frustrated that feeling hungry isn’t getting results. The truth is that eating less than what your body needs actually leads to malnutrition not weight loss. Think of your car. If it doesn’t have gas, you don’t go anywhere. Between carbohydrates, proteins, and fat, your body’s tank is emptying and starvation mode sets in. Your body senses this food deprivation as stress, which then increases cortisol levels. Under these conditions, the body is in fight or flight mode, and its mechanism to help you keep going is to hold on to every calorie that does finally enter the system. The storage unit for this is your belly. As the body starts feeling like there is less and less in the tank, it keeps storing more and more fat.
Many people do under eat and this becomes a repetitive habit. A stay at home mom becomes consumed by the household and is taxi driving the kids to and from their obligations. Everyone else is fed and where they need to be, but now it’s 6pm and she hasn’t eaten all day. Business is business and meetings pop up and then suddenly it’s 5pm. Time can fly. Then you get used to just skipping meals and snacking if possible. Then you decide to skip lunch hour so you can get more work done and maybe get home sooner. The cycle of not eating starts to take it toll on the body after a while. You assume that you eat pretty good… wait you don’t eat, so why does the scale seem to be stagnant or even creeping up?
As you continue the habit of under eating, the body decides to conserve rather then expend energy. Less energy used means that your metabolism is slowing down. Feeling tired and sluggish becomes your new normal. Your body also starts to lack important nutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B.
For most, when they under eat all day, they gorge at the one meal they do have. When you do this, the body doesn’t process these calories the same way it would from a normal eating pattern because it has felt like it’s in starvation until this food has come. Your metabolism is slower now and those calories become stubborn in their fight to stay rather then be burned off.
We have to eat to burn. We have to eat to fuel the tank. When we eat, we give the body a reason to operate. The body likes food and likes to feel stability that more will come soon. It doesn’t like being deprived. It doesn’t like not being a priority. It will tell you by slowing down your metabolism. It will tell you by keeping and maybe even adding fat on the body. Don’t upset the most valuable item you will even own. Eat to live and eat to feel, look, and be your best.