Being in a calorie deficit is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Over the long term, deliberately eating less and less as well as increasing your activity, can have detrimental effects on your weight loss results – as well as completely slow down your metabolism. This is when most people become perplexed as to why they are putting on weight when their activity levels are high and calorie ingestion is low.
When on a low-calorie diet, so few people are able to achieve weight loss results and sustain them over time. When we lose body fat, our bodies start to conserve energy by reducing the number of calories we burn during the day. We become hungrier because hormone levels that regulate hunger become miss matched. We also become somewhat more tired, moody, lethargic and our daily activity expenditure drops dramatically. I know this is somewhat confusing in a lot of ways, but I would like you, and everyone else to understand calorie deficit, what it does and how you can use a more strategic plan to get to those weight loss goals.
How our bodies react to adaptive thermogenesis.
Sometimes weight loss brings out some laziness in us. We have much less of a drive to be active, to move more, we take the elevator instead of the stairs, use the car more to get within shorter distances or even sit down for relatively long periods of time. Now, I’m on this because it happens to me also – and the shocking fact is the adaptiveness comes on by surprise, and then we notice we’re gotten a little bit fatter than we should be! Scientists say that certain neurotransmitters in the brain alter and cause us to reduce activity levels & trigger more food intake. If we are very careful, this can be bypassed, but for most people who are inexperienced, it can turn into a nightmare
Lower body fat means less thermic effect.
When we eat good, our bodies use up energy to digest and assimilate it. I think I have said long enough about the effect’s protein has on thermogenesis. It uses up to 25 percent of the calories in the meal to digest it. That’s pretty staggering! This is the well-known, thermic effect of food. Next on the thermic line up is carbs and followed by fat. When you decrease your food consumption (falling into a calorie deficit) the body has less food to process, and your thermic effect goes down. That follows on to less calories being burnt.
Now, knowing all of this now, and the negative effects of caloric deficit, what steps can we take to change this around?
There are quite a few things you can do to avoid your metabolism becoming adaptive to caloric deprivation. Remember, this is a normal response of the body, as it knows less food is available, and could be a threat to your life. It’s our bodies way of looking after ourselves.
5 ways to increase your metabolisms efficiency and stop the negative effects of caloric deficit.
- Don’t sacrifice carbs, cycle them. It’s very important to not adapt the mentality of completely eliminating carbs, instead cycling them. This will stop the onset of creating an energy deficit as well as avoiding the hormonal response of calorie reduction. The big plus here is it will eliminate those diet cravings we all experience, especially when carbs are scarce. It’s obvious how important it is to have a low carb, high protein diet to increase satiety, naturally reducing your calorie intake because you are full. This is another way to avoid hunger pangs. Where the carb cycling comes in will be one to two days of the week, where consuming higher carbs will allow for restoration of muscle fuel stores, keeping your body sensitive to insulin, and providing calories so your body doesn’t plunge into thermic downgrading.
- Lifting those weights. Lifting weights is the ultimate way to reduce body fat and increase muscle mass. The best program to have is one that targets moderately heavy weights, with higher reps and shorter periods for the best method of preserving muscle mass.
- Eat more protein. I’ve mentioned this many times in my dietary and muscle building tips. Protein is a trigger of protein synthesis, that maintains your muscle mass when you lose body fat. Don’t forget it’s also a thermogenic, which is another bonus effect of consuming a bit of a higher rate of protein than is normally recommended.
- Give the calorie counting a miss. There is no point scrutinising your calories to no end. I actually don’t know how many calories I consume on a daily basis, and I don’t really care! You really must increase the number of calories you consume in order to get your body out of that starvation mode. Yes, it will take some time for the body to adapt, and it’s got to be done slowly, and with small amounts over time. Yes, your body may increase its fat stores, but you have to give it a chance – because doing the same thing you are now, isn’t getting you any results.
- Be active – don’t just sit in your office chair all day. Please, do make a conscious effort to be active, even if it’s walking. Walking is completely underrated and gives such great results for young and old. Use the stairs, walk to and from work, do some walking at lunch time – just don’t keep sitting down – it’s not good for you.
I hope this does explain to you that calorie deficit is not the most effective way to lose fat, and can see you getting minimal, if no results over time. If you use the strategies above, you will ensure your body doesn’t ever get into starvation mode, that would prohibit it from losing any weight, or body fat for that matter. Please keep in touch and appreciate this information, why not stick with my fitness and health ranting via my website or join me on fb and insta social. I always post many motivating and inspiring articles, quotes and fitness tips. Please feel free to upvote this answer if it has been useful in some way to you.