One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when trying to lose weight, is that of chronically undereating, followed up by chronically overeating.
Eating very little during the week and then binging on the weekends with food and booze is a common example.
The more harmful version of this that I see, is when people set up punishing diet regimes with calories set under 1000 a day…… follow through with this until they are physically starving and then fall off the far too strict diet they have set themselves, by going on a crazy all out binge smashing all the food they have been craving in one go.
No matter how successfully you have deprived your body of calories .. One horrific all-out food binge can still derail your weight loss efforts and even lead to weight gain.
I have seen it too many times and even done it to myself on a few occasions..
Now, whilst you can ‘lose weight’ extremely quickly on a low-calorie diet, this approach also often leads to extreme hunger and obsessive thoughts about food which as a result can be countered with food binges that easily go too far and lead to regaining the weight you might have lost.
Part of the Reason This Happens
Food is one of our most primal of pleasures. Along with alcohol, sex, gambling and all the other things juicy things life offers.
If you decide to limit your food to well below the level of calories it takes for you to maintain your weight, as soon as you get hungry, you become fixated on food.. (that’s the point of hunger… to make sure you eat).
And, due to your very low-calorie diet, the one thing you have disallowed yourself is the food you want more than anything.
So what is the Solution?
Well, actually eat at a sustainable amount of food if you want to lose weight.
In other words, eat enough.
The UK Government Health Guidelines recommend 2500 calories a day for a man and 2000 calories for a woman to sustain weight.
Of course, this varies on individual size, weight, activity level, and metabolic rate.
Shaving 200 calories of this amount should be fine to start with..to create a small calorie deficit. This might not result in rapid fast weight loss, but if approached carefully can result in sustainable and ultimately successful weight loss.
Weight loss of 0.5 lbs to an upper limit of 2lbs a week can be maintained as a sustainable rate of weight loss without reaping to much havoc on the body.
Also, one big part of the solution has to be not demonizing certain food groups..
By this, I mean actually allowing yourself to have some of the food you enjoy/love to eat.
Personally, as a sustainable habit of eating, I will eat sensibly through the day and then have something sweet in the evening as a reward for my healthy behaviour.. (Rich Tea biscuits or pancakes with Nutella on are my current favorites). This is factored into my total calories for the day so it doesn’t screw my diet.
The net effect of a few biscuits is way less than what I know I might eat if I disallowed myself to have anything nice ever.Which is the is the important thing, at least for me personally.
This is what the whole ‘balanced lifestyle’ thing really means.
Not eating healthy and then binge eating.
Whether its a couple of biscuits every day. or a bottle of wine once a week.
Include the things you actually like in your diet.
Your keeping that little monster inside you happy when you do.
That is much better than going mental and smashing 2 tubs of Ben and Jerrys and a bag of Revels in one sitting.
(Not that I have ever done that).
And every now and then if you eat more than your described number of calories … who cares.. move on from it, that’s what s key.
Not to linger on an episode of overeating and think… fuck I’ve blown it.. might as well just eat shit now for the next week.
So..there you go, guys, I hope that helps.
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