Is a 1,200 calorie a day diet healthy long-term if you are trying to lose weight?

Caloric restriction in this sense is never a very good long term strategy. This is not only for weight-loss, but for a healthy state of mind. In the beginning, this strategy will work, but overtime, the constant restriction of calories will take it’s toll on the body big time. You will experience a plateau, or even start putting on weight. It’s really quite upsetting considering the time and effort that goes into this lifestyle..

But there is a better solution, based restricted eating, not restricted calories. The method I would like to talk about is Intermittent fasting. IF (as it’s referred to) is the most flexible, easiest and results driven lifestyle eating plan that does not restrict calories, but instead, pursues an abstinence of food for a particular amount of time, allowing for a re-feeding (referred to as the feast) after this particular time. It is flexible in a sense that you can pursue long or short periods of fasting, as well as fast when it’s most convenient for your lifestyle as well as when you feel like it. The results will speak for themselves. Let me go into more detail of why it surpasses calorie restriction.

6 reasons why fasting is more effective than calorie restriction

  1. It boosts your metabolisms efficiency. Unlike caloric restriction, IF increases and enhances your metabolism, making it the ideal environment for weight loss long term and keeping it off for good. When you are on a caloric restricted diet, you run the risk of malnourishment, putting your body into as state of muscle wastage and a slower metabolism. This is why caloric restriction is not ideal long term, as the body will do what it can to ensure it’s survival long term, by preserving as much fat on your body as it can, whilst restricting it’s ability to burn calories.
  2. It’s flexible and easy to follow. It’s not always easy restricting calories, especially when you have events to attend to, that involve food. Most of the time people just give the restriction a miss, and eat whatever is available. This leads to guilt and possibly a bit of self sabotage. With IF, you don’t really have to restrict what you are eating (unless you have particular goals in mind) and you can easily time your fasting and feeding periods to suit events and or social gatherings. It can be your time to eat the healthiest option available, within your allocated timeframe. No need for putting in dietary preferences or missing out on some form of food that looks enticing. This is all done guilt free, because you know that this work, and you can afford to have something that’s not usually on your chosen menu. Less guilt = a happier life and room for enjoyment!
  3. It helps you build muscle and become stronger. Because of the changes metabolically and hormonally with IF, you will be able to build and maintain muscle mass easily. This goes hand in hand with burning more calories as you pursue weight training and fasting. As we all know, muscle eats away at calories in order to grow, so the more muscle we can build, the better equipped we will be at burning calories. When you restrict calories, the opposite happens. Because of the constant restriction, our bodies suspect famine, and use muscle mass for energy. The preservation of fat will help us when we really aren’t eating enough. Not only will you lose muscle mass, but your metabolism will plummet, and you wont have energy to train. A bid time wasting factor here. All that effort in the gym will seem pointless when the body resorts to this.
  4. It gives you more energy, and enhances your concentration and focus. You probably wont believe this one, but fasting enhances your ability to retain information, concentrate and have clarity of mind. The reason for this is because your currently not using your digestive system (which uses up a whole lot of energy on a daily basis). The relocation of energy is channelled where you need it most (your brain) This is why I always save my most difficult research and study during this period. When you restrict calories, the complete opposite happens to you. Not only are you moody, tired and lethargic, you are also very angry, irritable and just down right miserable. When you pick a dietary lifestyle long term, it needs to be enjoyable, and living your life to it’s fullest potential is essential. IF does this and even more!
  5. It helps to eradicate damaged cells. Our bodies need to efficiently dismiss damaged cells. The break from digestion allows our bodies to perform a form of “detoxification” allowing healing and eliminating any cells that are not needed in the body anymore. Having these cells within our bodies causes ageing to accelerate. This also provides protective benefits for our brains. Think of the long term benefits at your finger tips, just from this practice on a daily basis. Caloric restriction does not even come close in any benefit within this level.

I would highly recommend Intermittent Fasting over caloric restriction any day. If you do have any concerns, please see your doctor initially. Good luck on your journey, and please do contact me on these various platforms if you need further assistance. I have plenty of other material on my website, or join me on facebook and instagram account. Please feel free to visit if you like, and upvote if you found this useful in any way.

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