…Everybody knows that calories are the enemy, and that more calories equals more weight gained. Therefore, most people believe that losing weight is as simple as cutting way back on calories. It’s just simple mathematics, right? After all, if you’re eating 3,000 calories per day and you cut back to 1,000 calories per day, then those extra 2,000 calories have to be burned from your body, right? It’s as simple as 2 + 2 equals 4, right? Well, this is not exactly true.
First, let’s talk about the average person who begins a diet. The scenario usually goes something like this… One day you look in the mirror and you finally get fed up with the way your body looks (or the way that your clothes fit) – and on this day you get “angry” with yourself, and you begin cutting way back on calories in an attempt to starve yourself thinner. So you officially begin your “starvation diet.”
On the first day you skip breakfast altogether (after all, you’re so filled with anger and motivation that it’s easy to skip breakfast). Then, a few hours later your motivation quickly gives way to severe hunger – since your body is not accustomed to being without calories for so long. Finally, by lunchtime you’re so hungry that you feel weak and miserable, but yet you tell yourself that you can make it through this tough hunger (after all, you don’t want to look like a quitter to your friends and family who know that you’re dieting).
This is why virtually all starvation dieters cannot make the scale go down after about 2 weeks of dieting. This is why even the most determined of “starvation dieters” always fail after just a couple of weeks. The truth is that “noticeable” weight loss simply cannot be achieved by starvation, and it’s pointless to even try that type of diet. True weight loss can only be achieved by giving your body the right types of calories at the right times each day. Your body is like a big engine, and the truth is that it needs all 3 types of calories (protein, carbs, and fat) to some degree. The best way to lose weight is to effectively manage these 3 types of calories, so that your body receives the proper amount of protein, the proper amount of carbs – and also the proper amount of fat each day.
For example, let’s say that you normally eat 2,500 calories per day (before you begin dieting). Then, you suddenly try to starve yourself by eating only 1,000 calories per day. Guess what? Even though you’re eating 1,500 fewer calories per day your body will begin burning 1,500 fewer calories per day – so your weight will remain the same even though you’re starving yourself. When your body begins burning fewer calories it’s called a weight loss “plateau.”
So you have a small piece of fruit for lunch perhaps, bravely trying to stick to your plan of starving yourself thin. Then, hours later when dinnertime arrives you’re so hungry and weak that you have a big migraine headache – and you’re beginning to realize that starving yourself might not be such a good idea after all. However, you try to hold out for another day or two on this miserable diet – since nobody likes to feel like a quitter. So you’ll probably hold out for another day or two, making yourself miserable in the meantime. There are even some brave dieters who may hold out for a week or so, possibly even 2 weeks for the bravest of dieters.
However, regardless of how long you hold out — the result is still the same. You see, even after 2 weeks of starving you won’t have made any noticeable difference to your body when you look in the mirror. Why? Simple, because the weight lost during a starvation diet is largely water weight, not real weight loss. This water weight will be gained back immediately when you stop dieting and begin eating normally again. Also, when you starve yourself your body begins burning fewer calories each day — so even though you’re eating fewer calories each day you must remember that your body is also burning fewer calories.