Sunday, December 16, 2007

This is from Sparks "Ask the Experts" and I've found it to be SO TRUE!
Q. If I consume fewer calories than my plan recommends, will I lose weight faster?

A. Strange as it sounds, going too low on calories is a common cause of getting stuck at your current weight despite dieting. Your body is designed to protect you from starvation during times of greatly reduced food availability, and when you eat too little, your body thinks it's starving.

To compensate, your metabolism will slow down considerably, making it very difficult (or impossible) for you to lose weight.

In this state, your body will preferentially burn everything but your stored body fat.

Eating too little poses other problems, such as nutritional deficiencies. On top of that, if you later eat more calories, your body is more likely to store these calories as fat, in preparation for a possible "famine" again in the future.

Your best bet is to aim for a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week through combining a moderate calorie reduction with increased calorie expenditure through exercise.

If all the info you entered during your program set-up is accurate, the recommended calorie range you received should be what you need to accomplish this healthy rate of weight loss.

Some people have problems eating enough calories when they go too low on fats. Especially by always choosing low-fat or non-fat versions of common foods. So try to find some good sources of "healthy fats" (the monounsaturated fat in nuts, olive and canola oils, avocados, etc.), and foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, like flaxseed, salmon, or tuna. Read SparkPeople's Nutrition Reference Guide: Fats and Oils for more information on including healthy fats into your diet.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MOBEAR1071
    I TOTALLY agree! A few years ago, I was training for half marathons and lifting weights, etc. I could not lose weight to save my life... until I started eating *more* calories. Then the pounds started coming off. My poor metabolism had slowed way down. Now I'd rather go over my calories than under them.
    4545 days ago
  • JOEGIRL6113
    Barb, I totally agree with this. I think if all your goals are set up correctly, you should stay in the range of calories that SP gives and you will do fine. I definitely do not think you should go under that range. Rosy
    4546 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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