THE CALORIE DEBATE

So there you are in the prime of your life, looking like you have just walked down the red carpet at the Oscars. It seems as if you can lift any weight or train for days on end, and still have the energy to go dancing and romancing all night long. You can live on a diet of fast food and sodas and yet still appear to have the physique of a serious, dedicated athlete. Then you blink and 20 years have passed in a blur leaving you in a state of physical disarray. Yes, you are middle aged and life has been far kinder to you then, than you have been to it. It certainly has been fun, huh? You look in the mirror only to realise that, despite your heroic efforts and years of consistent training and reasonable diet, some fat has begun to accumulate around your waist and under your lower pectorals. Your hips and thighs appear to be less muscular and a little wider than they were only a few years before. This really sucks.

The above scenario automatically sets off alarm bells, “I must lose weight now”. Calories become the ‘enemy’, since eating excess calories leads to excess fat, right? Wrong! And yet most people still believe that the fastest way to lose weight is to drastically cut back on the number of calories eaten each day. After all, if you were eating 2 500 calories per day and decide to cut back to 1 500 calories per day, then surely creating a 1000 calorie deficit has to result in weight loss, right?

Well, actually this is not exactly true…

In fact, if you try to reduce your calories too much, by starving yourself and skipping meals, you’ll quickly reach a dieting ‘plateau’, a point at which the scale refuses to budge any lower, no matter how little you’re eating.

Firstly, let’s examine how the average person begins a new diet. It usually goes something like this… One day you look in the mirror and see that your clothes are fitting tighter, and you look more overweight than normal. You admonish yourself, you’re disappointed by what you see in the mirror, and you decide that you’re going to lose weight, no matter what it takes.

You are highly motivated and determined on this particular day, and you’re ready to do whatever it takes to get slimmer. So what’s the first thing you do? You begin skipping meals and cutting way back on calories in an attempt to starve yourself thinner, since you’re convinced that calories are the arch enemy No. 1.

The start of your ‘starvation diet’. Sounding familiar?

On the first day of dieting you feel so ‘motivated’ to lose weight that you decide to skip breakfast. Unfortunately, this motivation doesn’t last for long. After a few hours your hunger pangs begin to make you feel weak. Your body is not accustomed to skipping meals like this and going without calories for so long. The only thing you should ever skip is a rope, never meals.

By the time lunchtime arrives you’re so hungry, and weak, that you feel absolutely miserable, but you soldier on bravely, telling yourself that you can handle this diet. After all, you certainly don’t want to feel like a quitter, do you? You allow yourself a piece of fruit for lunch, or another small healthy snack. You’re still convinced that you can starve yourself thinner.

Finally, hours later when dinnertime arrives, you’re so miserable and hungry that you have a major headache and feel quite weak. It is usually the moment that you finally begin to realise that starving yourself might not be such a good idea after all.

After this first day of starving yourself you feel just horrible, but determined to stick to your diet since you don’t want to be a quitter so soon. Your resolve is likely to hold out for another few days on this draconian diet. If you are particularly brave, you may even hold out for a week or two.

However, regardless of how long you actually last, you won’t get any slimmer and the end result will still be exactly the same. You see, even after two weeks of starving yourself, you won’t have achieved any serious weight loss at all. In fact, your body will still look exactly the same when you look in the mirror.

Why is this so? It’s as a result of most of the weight lost during a ‘starvation diet’ being just water weight, and not real fat loss. You must also bear in mind that any ‘water weight’ lost during a starvation diet will be gained back immediately when you stop dieting and start eating normally again. Also, whenever you starve yourself, you cause a ‘hidden’ factor to come into play. As soon as you starve yourself, your body will adjust and begin to burn fewer calories each day. Let’s say you normally eat about 3 000 calories a da y. You then suddenly cut back drastically on calories and you’re now eating only 1000 calories a day.

Guess what happens?

Even though you’re eating 2 000 fewer calories a day your body will simply adjust and begin burning 2 000 fewer calories per day. In reality your weight will remain exactly the same even though you’re eating 2 000 fewer calories a day. When this happens, the scale will stop going down regardless of how little you’re eating each day. This is known as a weight loss ‘plateau’ and the reason why most starvation dieters cannot make the scale go down anymore after just two weeks of dieting. They all hit a ‘plateau’ where the scale just refuses to go down any further, no matter how little they eat each day.

The truth is that serious and permanent weight loss can never be achieved by starvation dieting. True weight loss can only be achieved by giving your body the right types of calories

at the correct times each day. Your body is actually like a big “engine”, and the truth is that your body needs fuel made up of all 3 types of macronutrients; namely protein, carbs and fats, to some degree or another.

So, if you’re fed up with failing starvation diets, are serious about losing weight and want to find out why:

• Low Fat Foods DON’T WORK.

• Low Calorie Diets DON’T WORK.

• Low Carb Plans DON’T WORK.

Join the db4e training and eating program today for long term weight-loss results.