Very Low Calorie Diets Do Not Work In The Long Run

Have you heard of the new hCG diet?  The hormone hCG is actually the hormone that the body makes during pregnancy.  The hCG diet is an extremely low calorie diet (500 calories per day for 8 weeks) while taking hCG, either by getting a shot or by taking a homeopathic product, such as oral drops, pellets, or sprays, which you can buy at health food stores.   The Bernstein diet is also a very low calorie diet (700-900 calories per day) and they give you B-12 injections.  There are tons of diets that supply less than 1000 calories per day but are they good for you?

I am not personally a fan of very low calorie diets (VLCD) as I don’t believe that eating so little calories is successful in the long run.  Statistics show that people who follow a very low calorie diet put their weight back on quickly because they go back to eating more calories once (if) they achieve their weight loss goals, and once you start eating more calories, the body wants to store the extra calories simply because it needs it for daily body functions and doesn’t know if you are going to starve yourself again.   The body is quite brilliant and resourceful.

We all have what’s called a basal metabolic rate (BMR).  The BMR is the amount of calories the body burns AT REST just to operate our bodies.  This would include respiration, digestion, elimination etc.  My BMR is 2,200 calories due to my weight, amount of muscle and water is in my body.  If I eat only 800 calories (or less) then my body is in a deficit of 1,400 calories.  This deficit will greatly upset my body as it needs energy to function.  This is actually very dangerous to your body because you will not get all the nutrients that you need thus having nutritional deficiencies which will cause a plethora of other health issues.

Look at the “fight or flight” response.  When you are facing a life threatening situation you can either run or you can fight.  When this happens, some factors come to play.  Your pupils dilate (so you can see better), the blood is shunted to your muscles (so you can run) AND your body stores fat because it simply doesn’t know how long you are going to run or fight for.  This is an automatic response of the body, which is also why it is difficult for you to lose weight if you are stressed (physically or emotionally).

The same thing happens when you ‘starve’ yourself.  Your body will store fat the minute you start eating again because it is simply trying to protect itself for the future.  It’s quite amazing really and at the same time, quite frustrating.

Bottom line…don’t starve yourself.  It’s not healthy and you will most likely put your weight back on at some point.  It’s simply not feasible to eat less than 1000 calories every day forever.  Be realistic.  Make healthier lifestyle changes including following a healthy low carb diet and walking or some exercise.  I wish I had that magic weight loss pill but if I did, I would be somewhere in the Caribbean drinking Mai Tai’s on the beach…

 

 

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