Spring is almost here. Together with the first flowers in the fields and leaves on the trees, we start finding the first articles that tell us we should get ourselves ready for summer, not much time is left.
Magazines and websites (others, not this one) are full of the usual nightmarish questions such as: "Are you ready for the costume test?".
Anywhere we turn, we find all kinds of recipes and fervent tips on how to lose weight. Which ones should we choose? Well, if you really want to lose weight, your choice won’t matter that much. Because the result of any of these low-calorie diets (or meal replacements) you choose to sacrifice yourself to so that you can lose weight before summer, will last just the time of the diet. As soon as you start eating again, you’ll pile the lost weight back on, maybe even a little more than what you started out with.
Sounds familiar? How many times have you told the world that you’ll go on a diet (so: no eating out, no eating with friends, always hungry, jealous of everybody who is thinner without having to have sacrificed anything)? How often, as soon as you stopped this self-inflicted low-calorie cycle, have you see the result of your efforts vanish and have you asked yourself what you did wrong? The answer is simple: during the diet you lost weight, but not fat.
Or better said: the fraction of fat lost is minimal compared to the rest, since during any low-calorie diet our "metabolic control unit", the hypothalamus, gives precise instructions to our body to conserve fat to survive the (false) famine that we imposed on ourselves. Easier said: not only does our general metabolism slow down (so we burn little) but, moreover, our body holds on to the fat that we are trying to get rid of. Not to mention that, with a low-calorie regime, the athletic performance also diminishes because the hypothalamus under a famine doesn’t dare invest energy in strengthening our musculoskeletal system. In other words: our muscle mass diminishes or is not able to grow, our bones and joints become more fragile and we find ourselves at risk of injuries.
And so? So, we need to abandon once and for the notion that by eating less we lose weight and we need to start to really understand what makes our body burn more and lose fat and not just weight.
Don’t miss the next article where I’ll introduce some of these concepts!
See you soon!