Few people tend to remain fit all through their life. But for most of us age and lifestyle catches up with our metabolism and makes us unfit and old. First step towards knocking off the unwanted kilos is getting on a low calorie diet. While it works for some but there are more simple ways to melt those kilos and get fit.
What are low calorie diets. They are diets that give you approximately 1000 calories or fewer to eat in a day. This calorie allowance is not based on your gender or physical activity level. Mostly they are one diet plan that fits all kind of a routine. Besides the calories you only get to eat very selective kind of food which contains no fat or carbohydrates and are largely focused on protein & fiber to help you lose weight. Before we go deeper into low calorie diet let us understand what the reasons behind weight gain are.
The weight gain usually happens over a certain period of time. This can be largerly attribute to not focusing on eating right and not being physically active. not exercising or simply – not making health and fitness a priority. If you know the reasons that have resulted in weight gain then working on those factors could help you lose those pounds again. But does it actually work this way or is there more to losing weight than just eating food.
Lifestyle has a major impact on your weight loss efforts. Weight gain can happen due to many factors other than just eating food. Your sleeping patterns, stress at work, changing eating patterns, hormonal change, skipping meals, alcohol consumption, smoking, no workouts, sedentary work life, leisurely lifestyle etc. The list can go on and on and there innumerable such reasons which might seem small, but all add up to have a huge impact on weight management.
Maybe a low calorie diet is the not the right answer to your weight loss. Its not the quantity but the quality of food you eat that matters. Since the weight gain happened over a period of time you need to know that short term strategy of low calorie diet might get you some weight loss in short term but the side effects outweigh the short term gains i.e disappointment, poor health and weight gain in the long term.
Do you know our body is a fat storing machine. If we eat too much it starts storing it as fat but if we eat too little even then it starts storing fat. Our body’s are wired to go into a survival mode as soon as you cut down your calorie intake. They learn to survive on minimal and that is why when you go back to eating regular calorie diet you tend to gain the weight back again.
Another challenge of being on a low calorie diet. You kick start the diet by losing weight very fast but suddenly you will hit a wall commonly known as a weight loss plateau. When you start cutting down your calories the body gets needed energy by releasing its stores of glycogen, a type of carbohydrate found in the muscles and liver. Glycogen holds on to water, so when glycogen is burned for energy, it also releases water, resulting in substantial weight loss that's mostly water.
A plateau occurs because your metabolism — the process of burning calories for energy — slows as you lose muscle. You start to burn fewer calories than you did earlier doing the same activities. All this effort and then a road block. In retrospect you wish someone had told you to be wiser and not fall for the low calorie diet.
Besides low calorie diets are outdated. People get on a diet to lose weight but land up losing their health. The reason why low calorie diets also fail is because they dont factor in lifestyle changes that are key to sustain weight loss efforts and maintain good health. A good diet should focus on quality of food and also give importance to physical activity.
Exercise plays a vital role in weight management as it helps to improve blood flow and circulation in the body, accelerates metabolism for faster calorie burn and lowers your stress levels. Exercise helps you to use the excess fat stored in your body by burning it. It is an essential part in weight loss and weight management process. If you have never exercised in your life before starting with 15 minutes walk post your meals can help you boost your metabolism.
We have nothing against eating less. Its okay to manage your calorie intake but what you need to ensure is the balance of nutrition in the diet. Just cutting your calories will not boost your metabolism. Infact the right kind of food combinations can help you get best results. So don’t waste your time on low calorie diets that restrict you to eat different variety of foods and force you to eat one kind of food every day.
If you focus on including seasonal fruits and vegetables in your diet, be conscious about how food is cooked you will automatically reduce your calorie intake. Healthy food besides being nutritious makes you full faster and longer curbing your need to constantly reach out for food,
So stay away from fad diets that just focus on cutting down your calories while forcing you to eat insipid food. Instead say yes to diets that control your calories by adding essential nutrients to your daily diet. The idea is to lose weight and not your health.