The new year started and everywhere you look it’s “get fit, lose weight, lose fat, this that”… you feel sick of hearing it!
You sigh…. think to yourself, “it really is time I do something about my weight” but you’re not sure because you’ve been there before.
You’ve done detoxes, different types of fasts and diets and lost a lot of weight, you’ve felt good and then for the reason called ‘life’, you gained it all back and more.
You’re at the point where you’re thinking, “I’m really too old to get my dream body, let me just accept my lot and put it all down to middle age spread”.
You’re not a quitter. You’re an achiever! You know you can do it. You know that you CAN do it.
Then you sign… “I’ve got so much weight to lose, how am I going to lose it all?”.
You start thinking about the time you went on a very very low calorie diet for 4 weeks and quickly lost 15kg. If only you could do it again….?
Noooooooooooooooooo! Don’t do it! DON’T!!!!!
Here’s the reason why.
Let’s say you decide to do a liquid or very low calorie diet for 4 weeks and your daily calorie intake is between 800-1000 calories.
At some point, Leptin the hormone that controls your metabolism and regulates your energy balance will slow down your metabolism to starvation mode because you are now eating below what your body needs to survive.
Now, your body needs calories from food for life sustaining processes like respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, neurological, muscle and tissue repair. If your daily calories are below what your body needs to stay alive, Leptin will drop, slowing down your metabolism to try and match the amount of calories you’re eating. Because a very very low calorie diet is not sustainable, when you come off that diet and start eating more food, you will now have a slower metabolism, fat loss will stop and you end up gaining more weight than you started off with.
Has this happened to you before?
If yes, here’s what you need to do to stop history repeating itself.
- Over a 7 day period, try and find out how much calories you are consuming (food and drink) by keeping a food diary and recording everything you eat and drink. My FitnessPal is a good tool to help with calculating calories in food.
- Then, find out what your daily calorie (food plus drinks) intake should be. You do this by multiplying your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) by your PAL (Physical Activity Level value). See images below. This will give you an estimate of your daily calorie requirements.
- Start to create a calorie deficit by reducing your calories conservatively (10-20%). This could be done buy making food and drink swaps. Look for food and drink lower calorie alternatives. For example, a large glass of orange juice is over 100 calories. Swapping that with water and lemon instantly knocks off 100 calories from your daily calorie intake.
- Then, start exercising on a regular basis. Regular exercise will help you speed up your metabolism which is where you want to be heading and it will help you bump up your daily calorie deficit total.
Want to know how much weight is a realistic amount to aim for?
I hope this post was useful, leave a comment below to share your experiences, what worked for you or what didn’t or just let me know that you came by.