Restricting Calories Only Makes You Fat & Grumpy – Don’t do it!

It’s time to do away with the caloric restriction way of life

Most of us have been there and done that many times Usually leading to binges and putting on excess weight. For some reason, our self-control, goals and enthusiasm for health leave us as soon as we see the cake window. Whilst you have that “Should I” or “I may as well” conversation with yourself, it may become natural for your body to take over the logic. But before you start beating yourself up as to why you failed on your diet plan for the 49th time, read through this list and you will soon understand why playing the caloric restriction game leaves you failing — without the outcome being entirely your fault. There are a couple of reasons why caloric restriction doesn’t work long term, and I wish everyone knew just how pointless it is.

One: Each macronutrient produces a different hormone response

That directly influences your metabolic rate, and if the nutrients are stored as fat or burnt as fuel.

Two: 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. Vegetables provide fibre which assists your body to feel full for longer periods of time. Eating more vegetables will naturally lower your food intake. Items like fried chips, pasta and sauces don’t even contain any nutrient value — but show themselves as fat on the body and cause inflammation.

What you eat daily will indicate appropriate hormonal responses

Different food elicits a different hormonal response. Take for instance carbohydrates with a higher glycaemic index (think bread, doughnuts, cakes etc.) When we eat 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. Fire Up Your Metabolism & Stay Lean All-Year-Round In Four Ways

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. This makes it very hard to resist cravings. You feel hungry 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 outcome is that your daily food consumption will dictate your body composition (the obvious). 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 getting you closer to achieving your goals, and you consume enough protein daily to fuel your body, protect your muscle mass and increase it over time. But please, don’t assume that overeating protein will help you gain a lot more muscle. You enhance your muscle with weight training and rest. 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, you will probably want to keep these results long term — as much as possible. 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. Being insulin sensitive helps us to burn fat stores and lose weight. My best strategy for keeping myself insulin sensitive is to adhere to an intermittent fasting regime every single day. Exercise such as weight training and low impact cardio help push your insulin sensitivity up as well. If you are keen to try something different, then give fasting a try in 2022. Here is a great post to help you along. Five Ways to Make Fasting More Effortless and Enjoyable

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