Why Starving Your Body is a Mistake if You Want to Lose Weight
In theory, starving the body to lose weight actually makes sense. After all, eating too much is one of the main causes of weight gain.
Therefore, it stands to reason that eating very little will have the reverse effect.
In truth, however, starving yourself is the worst possible thing you can do when attempting to lose weight. Not only is it bad for your health, but starving yourself does not actually lead to massive weight loss as most people think.
So, if you are guilty of using starvation to get leaner, here are 2 reasons why you should look for an alternative route to weight loss.
1) Your Body Will Dive into Survival Mode
The first few days of starvation tend to give the illusion that the change in diet or lack of eating is actually working, as you will drop down several numbers on the weighing scale.
However, what is lost is mostly water weight with the loss only lasting a short while. This is because with starvation, the body first expends water weight before falling into a physiological response referred to as ‘survival mode’.
Survival mode is an age-old response whereby the body survives starvation by slowing down normal metabolism rate and devoting more resources to absorbing whatever little food is available.
If starvation continues, the body then begins cannibalizing healthy muscles and other tissues in order to continue functioning.
Only after every expendable ounce of muscle has been burnt will the body begin dipping into the stored fat reserves for nutrients needed to survive.
As all this happens, very little weight is actually lost. So, except for the initial significant drop in weight, starvation actually results in a very slow rate of weight loss that can sometimes be unnoticeable.
2) Starvation Always Ends in Failure
Regardless of how disciplined you are, the human body cannot stand starvation for too long.
Therefore, you will eventually fall back to normal eating habits especially after weight loss comes to a slow crawl.
With the slowed metabolism and significantly reduced muscle mass, your body will find it hard to burn many calories even when you exercise regularly. And, with the body still in survival mode, any food you consume after a period of starvation will be stored instead of being used up to provide energy.
So, all in all, you will end up gaining more fat than you had in the first place once you resume normal eating.
As you can see, starving yourself is a terrible idea if you want to lose weight.
Instead of helping you drop more pounds, starving the body only makes weight loss a lot harder that it needs to be.
What you should do is actually eat more frequently in the form of 6 or more small healthy meals spread evenly throughout the day.
Eating small healthy meals frequently keeps you feeling full which in turn keeps you from eating too much.
Moreover, small frequent meals keep your metabolism working at an optimum level thereby allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day especially if you take the time to exercise.
How to Set Realistic Expectations for Weight Loss
According to statistics, 90% of diets end in failure while 80% of New Year’s resolutions to lose weight fail by the second week of February.
The common thing among individuals who become part of these unflattering statistics is that they all jump into dieting and exercising for weight loss with high expectations that are nearly impossible to follow through.
Therefore, if you are serious about wanting to lose weight, it is essential that you formulate a weight loss plan that is reasonable for you.
Here are 3 simple tips that will help you keep your weight loss goals realistic and possible to achieve.
1) Find Out Your Ideal Body Weight
Everyone has an ideal body weight in which the body can stay healthy and function at its best.
So, the first thing you should do before embarking on a weight loss journey is to figure out your ideal body weight
While there are more accurate ways of determining one’s ideal body weight such as going for a body composition scan, a more easier and cheaper way is using an online BMI (Basal Metabolic Index) calculator or applying the simple formula of “100 pounds for the first 5 ft + 5 pounds for every inch above that”.
Knowing your ideal body weight gives you an idea of how much weight your body can safely shed thereby enabling you to set a realistic weight loss goal.
2) Be Specific About Your Goals
One of the biggest mistakes that individuals looking to lose weight make is to generalize their weight loss goals.
For instance, one person may start a diet and workout plan on the basis of simply losing weight or reaching their ideal body weight while another may develop a weight loss regime with the intent of getting back to his or her college weight.
Such vague goals are usually difficult to follow through, as weight loss is a lengthy journey that happens in stages.
Therefore, you should instead set a more specific goal such as dropping 50 or 100 pounds or a third of the amount required to reach your ideal body weight.
A specific goal gives you something to work toward and therefore increases your chances of sticking to your weight loss plan.
3) Set Reasonable Timeframes
The hard truth about losing weight is that it is no easy task. You will need unwavering commitment, a good plan, and time if you are serious about losing weight.
This is where setting reasonable timeframes for your weight loss goal comes in. Break down your ultimate weight target into smaller mini-goals that are possible to achieve.
For example, a goal of losing 50 pounds can be broken down into mini-goals of shedding 2 pounds every week. Setting mini-goals makes a colossal weight loss goal such as losing 50 pounds more achievable.
What’s more, it gives you the pleasure of enjoying little victories that will help keep you fully motivated as you inch closer and closer to your targeted weight loss goal.
While losing weight is no easy task, it can be done.
The trick is to keep your weight loss goals reasonable and attainable. If you have no clue on how to set realistic expectations for weight loss, start by practicing the simple tips shared in this article.