We have heard it all before; calories are the ultimate ingredient to determine whether weight loss is a success or simple failure. It is common sense that if we consume less than is burnt then the pounds will quickly disappear, just like last nights’ Pizza hut. Simple stuff? Well not really, while calorie cutting does work to some extent it does not work as much as you might think it would. It is worth noting first that calories are not equal. If you were to choose the right kind of calories you can eat less without feeling hungry but if you choose the wrong calories then your food will leave you feeling less than satisfied and potentially craving more.
So will I lose weight if I simply eat less??
Yes in the short term if you cut down your calories you will lose weight but these results will not be lasting. The word on the street is that the majority of people who go on a “diet” will end up putting more weight on that what they lost.
Did you know that in order to lose one pound you need to cut 3,500 calories out of your diet? So depending on what your current size is if you were to consume between 1,400 calories to 2,000 over the course of a day you will lose a total of eight per cent of your total body weight over a period of three to twelve months.
So are there so many diets that fail?
Unfortunately there is not one single answer as what works for one person may not work for someone else. First of all we are all human and diets are very hard to maintain over a long period of time. Secondly our bodies can work against us. Once we have lost a certain amount of weight our metabolism will slow down so that you have to eat less just to maintain the current weight that you are at. It is our body’s way of ensuring that we do not starve. So when you think that you are working hard at your diet and not getting the results you feel you deserve, this is often the reason why.
Furthermore many people get too excited and will at the beginning cut out too many calories. At the beginning of the diet while the food cravings are intense these will soon wear off, there is evidence to prove that over the long term a low calorie diet will curb hunger. In addition to this if you choose to diet without exercising you will lose muscle mass and this will slow down your metabolism even further.
Where do our calories come from?
As previously mentioned calories are not equal and those calories that are from fat or even refined carbohydrates will certainly end up on your thighs. So consider if you had the choice between a doughnut and a chicken sandwich which both had the same amount of calories, which would you choose? Nutritionally the sandwich is the winner and even in terms of your weight the doughnut should not be contemplated.