After my recent rant regarding the current detox craze, there is more in the world of delusions, the mere mention of which gives me physical discomfort:
The word “diet“ – not as in nutrition in general but as in cutting certain things out of your actual diet to achieve certain results – is another things that makes me shake my head in disbelief at people I have otherwise known as smart and reflective.No matter whether you go low-carb, follow Atkins’ path, switch to Paleo, South Beach or believe that ingesting 1000 kcal a day will be enough – you will definitely ruin your metabolism if you keep going for too long. Any diet that promises fast weightloss is either lying to you or destined to make you yoyo back as soon as you’ve reverted to eating normal again.
Why is this so? – Because you do not need to cut certain food groups from your diet to lose weight or keep it. Your body actually needs fat, protein and carbohydrates, along with a whole load of vitamins, amino acids and what-not-else to function the way its supposed to.
It’s simple: every person needs a certain amount of calories per day. If you eat more you will gain weight, if you eat less you will lose weight.
However, if you continue to eat less than your body actually needs, it will go into „starvation“ mode. It will starts to believe it needs to lower its metabolism because food is obviously scarce. That’s where your fabulous weight loss is going to stop.
You will now need to decrease your intake even more to get results until…correct! Until you plateau again, because your body thinks there is another emergency and you will need to eat even less…*
ARE YOU COMPLETELY OUT OF YOUR MIND?!?!?!
You may now ask, if eating less is not the key to a happier life (because if you weighed less you would certainly be happier) – what then?
That’s simple: Move. Your. Ass.
Run, take classes, go for extended walks or a swim. Do it alonge, with a friend or a group. Anything. In this respect, your body isn’t particularly choosy: Key is not to decrease your intake but to increase your output. Fire up your metabolism by increasing your heart rate a couple of times a week and all of a sudden you will notice that, even though your way of eating or your portion size hasn’t changed, your pants have become become lose and your body is in visibly different shape.
Now, “I don’t have time“ is no excuse. I get up early three times a week to work out in our living room and will regularly get off the metro a few stops early or simply take a walk on the weekends. If time permits, I will take yoga classes, my partner and I are dancing salsa once a week (that’s our cardio) and in summer we are hiking up mountains. There are plenty of ways if there is half a will.
Needless to say, having a second look at what you’re going to put into your mouth helps as well, of course, but this is for a later post.
But please, PUH-LEASE, don’t even mention the word “diet“ in front of me in connection with you trying to lose weight.
The way I look at you may just never be the same.
Rant over. Thank you.
*At this point I think it’s fair to mention that when I was at uni I tried all diets available to me at that time – from cabbage soup to cutting carbs to simply counting calories (1200, then 1000, then 800 kcal per day) and continually kept gaining weight despite a regular regime of sports.
Only when I took a year off to travel with the clear wish to sample all those local delicacies, when I started eating only when I was hungry (instead of out of boredom or because I felt sad) and mostly freshly prepared food (aka street food) did my weight balance out – almost 10kg below where I had been at the end of my student years.