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…
Exercise…the four letter word!
How come exercise isn’t a four letter word??? Most of us hate to exercise but we know it is an important factor if you want to lose weight. Working out stimulates the growth of metabolic tissues, meaning that it increases your metabolism. Losing weight with exercise means you will burn more fat. The number on the scale may not seem as impressive at first, but that’s because muscle weighs more than fat and it takes up less space than fat does so you look smaller and your clothes fit better. You don’t have to join a gym if this isn’t something you like. The key is to find something that fits into your lifestyle. Walk with a friend, join a bowling league or volleyball team. Get some DVD’s and exercise in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Walk up and down the stairs. Do sit ups in front of the TV. Get some dumbbells and work out while watching TV. Where there is a will there is a way. The key is to find something you can maintain, and just get started
Some of the advantages of exercise include:
- Weight loss and increased muscle (which increases metabolism)
- Increased energy
- Reduces stress and enhances mood
- Reduces risk of heart disease including cholesterol and blood pressure and makes the heart muscle stronger
- Strengthens the lungs
- Strengthens digestive system
- Better health overall
IF YOU COULD GET ALL OF THESE BENEFITS (and I only named a few) IN ONE PILL…WOULD YOU TAKE IT? Of course you would. We want the benefits of exercise without having to do it. Start slow, set goals and as Nike would day, Just Do It! Have fun with it. It shouldn’t be too hard or boring. Find a buddy who will exercise with you.
Nothing Tastes As Good As Thin Feels!
I tell myself that every day but is it working? Starting a new weight loss program is always hard to do however STAYING on the diet is the most challenging. We may do well for a week or so but then you had to go to a birthday party, or wedding etc and bam…you fall off the program. Most of us just say “ah forget it” and some of us say “no big deal, let’s get back on track”. Which one are you?
When starting on a diet, we often focus on what we won’t be able to have rather than what we will gain if we stick to it. How many times per day do you look in the mirror and hate what you see? When you are getting dressed, how do you feel? Has your weight ever stopped you from doing something you really wanted to do? What will it take to get your diet under control? What will KEEP you on track? GOALS! Take out that black dress you want to wear for Christmas or that bathing suit you want to wear on your vacation. It isn’t doing any good sitting in the back of your closet. Look at what you want to wear, keep trying them on and look in the mirror. Visualize what you will look and feel like when you can fit into these. Know that you CAN do it! People do it all the time. What are your downfalls? Where do you go wrong? Please share your thoughts on why you feel it is hard to stick to your program all the way to your goals. I would love to hear back from you…