Why restricting your calories makes you fat

There are a couple of reasons why caloric restriction doesn’t work long term, and I wish everyone knew just how pointless it is.

  1. Each macronutrient produces different hormone response that directly influences the metabolic rate, and if the nutrients are stored as fat storage, or burning.
  2. The thermic effect of foods – This is the number of calories that are required for the food to break down. This varies according to the different food sources you eat. One example is that animal proteins take a lot more calories to digest than green vegetables. Items like fried chips, pasta and sauces don’t even require any calories to be absorbed.

What you eat daily will indicate appropriate hormonal responses

It’s essential to grasp that different food elicits a different hormonal response. Take for instance carbohydrates with a higher glycaemic index (think bread, doughnuts, cakes etc.) When we consume these, our insulin levels increase dramatically. Chronically elevated insulin levels make your cells more resistant to it, driving up stress hormone (mainly cortisol) that causes cellular ageing. In some instances, this combination can lead to larger amounts of fat gain and even diabetes.

Choose to eat protein, good fats and complex carbohydrates. Protein restores tissue & builds lean muscle mass, strengthen cellular lipid layers and improve insulin sensitivity & restore brain health.

The hidden dangers of calorie restriction

When you restrict calories long term, your metabolism becomes sluggish. Your body suddenly increases its responses to hunger. You feel starving all the time (ever been through this one?) There is also a chance of regaining the weight, and body fat that you may have lost while on a calorie-restricted diet.

Here is the real deal regarding calories

The most realistic summary of all of this is that your macronutrient content will dictate your body composition (the obvious) but. if you do overeat every single day, then you will, unfortunately, put on body fat. This is just natural.

The most important thing you should think about when dieting is that your food choices are taking you towards achieving your goals, and you consume enough protein daily to fuel your body, protect your muscle mass and increase it over time. Protein affects our metabolism long term, as well as our moods, energy levels and quality of life. This will keep your body composition in check -which is what we all want really. If you do lose weight, gain muscle mass and change your body, it’s ideal for keeping these results long term – as much as we possibly can.

And the last take-home point is this – insulin will dictate how much fat we accumulate and how much of our food intake is used for energy. When insulin is not sensitive, then we will experience problems with fat gain and loss. This is probably one of the most important takeaways here and should be grasped by all that are trying to lose weight and build muscle.

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