If this has ever happened to you, my guess is it has. You unknowingly have started a metabolic downward spiral that has the potential to keep you in a fat gaining state for the rest of your life.
Now before you think there is no hope let me explain what I feel happens to us and how to avoid any potential problems, and of course get you back on track.
So here we go
When I sit down with a client for the first time and there goal is weight loss I ask a simple question, “What is the lighest you remember being?” and they often say sometime a few years ago. Generally speaking it is in there 20’s usually just after finishing school or around that period.
Then of course there are those who have been overweight there whole life.
But the principle here is the same.
Over time for reasons we can’t fully remember our weight slowly creeps up say over the period of several years. No body ever went to bed and woke up the next morning with an extra 20 kg’s of body weight.
The reality is that weight gain is a slow process. And there fore weight loss also needs to be a slow process.
Now here is the problem. Every time we lose weight over a short time and then put it back on again we are causing damage to our metabolisms. The cycle of weight loss and weight gain that we have all been through is doing very real damage to our overall long-term ability to lose weight.
Our body’s need to be balanced. In a state called homeostasis. The way it works is the body seeks balance, or in other words a “set point”. The point where we don’t gain weight and we don’t lose weight.
We are fairly neutral. Now imagine going on a crash diet for a few weeks trying to lose as much weight as possible.
What we are doing is essential going from our comfortable set point and decreasing calorie intake to the point where are bodies thinking we are going into starvation response. Once we go into starvation response the body will do all it can to store fat and keep us alive.
You see the starvation response is designed to save us and could you imagine if tomorrow there was no food. Our body would do everything possible to store fat.
When we go back to the normal way of eating our bodies take advantage of this and fill up fat stores back to where they were, plus a little bit more for insurance.
Every notice that when you do a diet like this, everyone often says yeah I put the weight I lost back on plus more.
That is why.
Your body is doing what it does naturally.
So why does this damage your metabolism? Every time we go through this cycle it takes longer for the body to recover its set point. And every time we go through this cycle the metabolism slows and more fat is stored .
So what does this mean for you.
Well the first thing is to stop yo yo dieting. That’s the best thing.
Then think about weight loss as slowly as possible. The faster you want to lose it the faster it will come back on once you stop. I often tell my weight loss clients to think of their weight loss as 12 month plan. Now a lot of them don’t want to hear that.
And to be honest some don’t and they go for the quick fix and end up heavier and more lethargic because they are thinking short term.
Going back to my original point about taking years and years to gain weight. It is a fair assumption that you could also take years to lose weight. And yes that is true, but I believe we can get there faster but we need to respect our natural biology and limitations.
Because if we don’t we end up repeating the cycle over and over again.
They key here is knowing your calorie intake. If you have dieted before and lost weight only to put it on again. My question to you is did you know your calorie intake?
Here is an example say you are an 30 year old female and weight around 80 kg your calorie intake might be around the 1600 calorie per day mark.
That is the amount of calories you need to maintain your weight .
Now if we create a deceit in other words a reduction on 100 – 200 calories over the course of 1 month we would expect to see a loss in weight. Taking into consideration that the amount of activity is the same, sleep patterns were the same and stress level were the same.
Now of course there is a lot more to it than this but I just want to get the point across that being consistent with your food really is the first step to having a real shot at sustainable weight loss and not damaging your metabolism over and over again.
Think about your weight loss long term and aim for consistency. A good way to start is to check out my program the clean eating plan online. Inside is a program from creating a customized weight loss plan for you. It monitors your calories and adjusts each week until you hit your goals. Then once you have reached the goal weight it help keep you on the maintenance phase until your body has reached its new set point. Thus leaving you lighter healthier and in such good habits the weight loss and transition to keeping it off is smooth and more sustainable.