Calorie counting, as an overall concept has come under fire on many occasions whilst others champion it. My take on it is that it is just one small variable and that to say ‘’calories in vs. calories out’’ for fat loss is the answer is complete crap. If only it was so easy, everyone would be in top shape with a little discipline. However, I want to get into ‘’calories’’ more today rather than just talk about calorie counting. The topic of ‘’metabolism’’ is one which interests me massively and I think it is extremely important for those who go to low calorie diets when they want to drop some blubber.
The concept of dropping calories for fat loss, short term works but in the long run people tend to stall. Why is this? After all they are in a calorie deficit right? The thing is the body is a wonderfully clever machine; it is smarter than we often give it credit for. On many occasions I have, as well as many clients increased calories massively yet lost weight and more than that continue to do so, how? I would suggest this is the adaptation of the metabolism, and this is exactly what is happening in reverse when people go very low on calories and stall – their body has adapted to the low calorie intake. There will come a point when the body says ‘’no more’’ and dropping calories and increasing workout load won’t cut it anymore.
Logically it makes sense to eat as many calories as possible whilst holding weight and condition, right? This means there is a lot more room to play with when it comes to getting leaner, after all there will at some become a drop in calories towards the end of a full on diet for most.
Even if a very low calorie diet does get you the results you want, what are you going to do? Eat like that forever? If not, what do you think will happen once you give in and hit the food like a ravenous pack of hyenas? Ballooning comes to mind!! You have starved the body so when you do feed it, the natural instinct for the body is to hold on to energy and it will be less willing to play ball next time round! This explains why on occasions having high calorie/carb days during the back end phase of a diet works a treat; it tricks the body to an extent.
Long run, hitting very low calorie diets is just toying with long term metabolic shutdown in my opinion, and it doesn’t really make sense either. If you have to starve it usually means the diet isn’t the right one for you, a bit like hammering home a screw.
Don’t be a chump, eat smart, eat enough and enjoy long term health and progress!