Saturday, May 18, 2013

7 Reasons Low Calorie Diets Simply Don't Work

starving is bad for weight loss
In a book I recently read and am very enthusiastic about (as I told you in my burn the fat, feed the muscle- what an amazing book post) there was an interesting chapter explaining why 95% of all conventional diets fail. Do yourself and your body a big favor and read the entire post- at the end you will be relieved to find out that starving will not get you anywhere near the body of your dreams.

There are quite a few very interesting reasons for that, according to the author Tom Venuto, however, I am just going to synthesize the top 7 reasons why you need to stay away from low calorie diets.

1. A low calorie diet will slow down your metabolism

This happens because your body has the incredible ability to adapt to almost anything. So when you start feeding it with less calories than your daily needs require, it just says "Hey, I better find a way to keep my fats, cause it seems like we are going through some rough times! I better slow that metabolic rate a little!" Your body doesn't know that you are deliberately dieting. What it knows is that it is getting insufficient fuel and in order to survive it will have to start using less fuel.

This explains why most low calorie diets work in the start, but in the long term tend to be useless, and also it explains the so called Yo-Yo effect- while you are dieting you lose some weight, but your metabolism slows down, so when you go back to your old eating habits, you do it with a weaker ability to burn fat- thus you gain again.

2. A low calorie diet will make you lose muscle

This is partially because the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolic rate is, and as I pointed out, your body is trying to decrease this rate. However, there is another reason for the loss of muscle tissue and it is called Gluconeogenesis- the process of converting lean muscle tissue into glucose. This is a way for your body to produce the energy that you have deprived it from, with your low calorie diet. An interesting fact is that it affects all of your muscles including internal organs. And as you probably know- your heart is also a muscle. This means that a low calorie diet will make your heart weaker as well.

3. A low calorie diet will decrease the activity of your fat burning enzymes and increase activity of your fat-storing enzymes 

Once again, your body's incredible ways of adapting. Besides slowing down your metabolism and feeding on your muscle tissue, the body also increases the levels of a fat storing enzyme known as Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL). It also decreases the levels of your fat burning enzymes.

4. A low calorie diet will decrease the output of your thyroid hormone

A low calorie diet and starving lead to a lesser production of thyroid hormone, which additionally slows down your metabolism.

Also, studies show that low levels of thyroid hormone can be associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, which doesn't have much to do with weight loss, but it still shows how harmful a low calorie diet can be.

5. A low calorie diet will increase the chances of rebound weight gain

This is basically what I mentioned in the first point. Once your metabolic rate gets too slow for you to keep losing weight, you will hit a plateau. Now that is really frustrating! After a period of frustration and starvation, people will normally either go back to their previous eating habits or binge. After doing this, it will take a very short period for all of the lost weight to come back, leaving you with the same amounts of fat as when you started (or even more), less muscle tissue, slower metabolic rate, weaker general health and potentially depressed.

6. A low calorie diet will increase your appetite and cravings

Your mind also has a way of responding to low calorie diets. It makes you crave all of those high energy foods you are trying to avoid. And when the mind of a person is really set on something, it is hard to resist, actually most of us can't!

7. A low calorie diet will decrease your energy levels

Energy levels largely depend on your metabolic rate and calorie intake. If both of them are dramatically decreased, the same will happen with your energy. Furthermore, starving will also lead to a lower output of hormones that are critical for your mood and energy. This will not only make you feel lethargic and lousy, but it will hinder your ability to burn fat, which is the proper way to lose weight.

These are the 7 reasons why low calorie diets simply don't work. In fact, a low calorie diet will have you sacrifice your health, energy, metabolism, muscle tissue and much more in order to lose some weight in the short run and get even worse in the long run. Do you really feel that this is a fair deal? I don't!

As I mentioned, I learned this in an amazing book Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle. In the same chapter,  you can read more about this and you can also find 8 great tips to help you stay away from starvation and low calorie diets, and how to lose fat the right way.

If you would like to check out this great system Click Here!, and if you would rather read what I had to say about the book on the day I finished reading it Click Here!

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to leave a comment or send me an E-Mail at

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1 comment:

jowdjbrown said...

I am just going to synthesize the top 7 reasons why you need to stay away from low calorie diets.8 Benefits to Juice Fasting