Eating Less for Weight Loss

By on February 6, 2013

eating less for weight lossMany different diets have developed around the overly simplistic notion that low calories and low fat equal healthy weight loss.

Unfortunately, that notion has not helped to staunch the obesity epidemic that has afflicted the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one third of adult men and women in the U.S. are obese. This does not count those who are overweight.

A great deal of speculation has developed at the same time over what can be done to staunch this, but the best solution is to cut back on carbohydrates and enjoy higher rates of protein instead. This does not mean that you can simply eat whatever you want in that category without considering your caloric needs.

The answer to how we lose weight is not found in one step.  Hence,

Much needs to be considered about eating less for weight loss

Will Starvation Diets Work?

Whenever anyone mentions eating less for weight loss, some of you are going to automatically head for the old favorite, a starvation diet. A true starvation diet works in that if you eat absolutely nothing, you will lose weight because your body has to exhaust fat reserves. Unfortunately, it can lead to a number of other negative side effects such as

  • Loss of muscle
  • Heart irregularities
  • Bad breath
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of concentration
  • Metabolic shut down

The metabolic shutdown is particularly bad for dieters because the human body is quite magnificent in its resourcefulness. What this means practically is that your metabolism will shut down as much as it can to try to conserve energy. Then if you do eat anything, it will try to turn as much as possible into fat, and your body will do everything it can to keep from burning the fat.

Does That Mean Calories Should Not Be Reduced?

No, it’s good to ensure that you are only consuming the number of calories that you need. Eating less for weight loss can work so long as you do not dip below 1500 calories does work. Overindulgence can lead to a number of negative side effects, regardless of the food you are consuming (though certain foods are worse than others). These negative side effects include

  • Lack of energy
  • Heart burn
  • Overall sluggishness
  • Feeling overly full
  • Weight gain
  • Dehydration

Overeating will not lead to muscle loss as under eating will, but it will also sabotage your weight loss goals. The challenge to eat less for weight loss requires that you consume what your body needs. Food should not be used for comfort, even though it’s very tempting.

Handling the Cravings

The greatest problem with eating less for weight loss though is that the cravings and the emotional urges to eat will be difficult if you have not handled these before. These tips will help you to keep them in check as you continue on your healthy eating plan.

The first key is in eating the proper foods. Dr. Mercola informs readers that it is essential to eat high quality calories such as protein rather than low calorie foods which are low in quality. A low carb diet helps to effectively suppress the appetite and will eventually quell most cravings. Refined white flour and even wheat flour, common ingredients in most processed foods, actually stimulate the hunger pangs, even when the body is not in need of food. Choosing to eat other foods, particularly ones which blast the fat away like the ones here, can make an enormous difference in terms of overall fat loss.

Keeping a food journal is another way to help handle cravings. Some cravings stem from emotional needs or unaddressed problems. To deal with this, you should write down what you are craving and what is going on. For instance, I struggled for quite some time with a craving for macaroni and cheese. Not just the delicious homemade kind which my mother makes on occasion but the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I craved Kraft Macaroni and Cheese when I remembered and missed my grandfather. He passed away several years ago, but when he was alive, it was one of his favorite foods. We always shared a box while we discussed art and philosophy. As I started to journal about missing him and dealing with the grief that was still a part of my life, I found that the cravings lessened.

Another essential tip to handling the cravings is to ensure that you are drinking enough water. Both overeating and under eating can result in dehydration because you are not consuming enough fluids. Dehydration is also processed in such a manner that it feels like hunger at times. When you’re in doubt, drink a cool glass of water and wait twenty minutes. If you’re still feeling hungry, then go ahead and eat. Otherwise, just keep going until you really are hungry.

 

 

References

“Obesity Rates,” Center for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html (2012).

Dr. Mercola, “Pasta, Not Bacon, Is Making You Fat,” Mercola, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/18/pasta-not-bacon-makes-you-fat-but-how.aspx (2012).

About JessicaBFry

Jessica B. Fry has had a passion for writing and health since she was a child. In college, she studied Writing and Pre-Law as a double major before she went on to Regent University to obtain her J.D. She now practices law and works as a freelance writer in rural Indiana where she enjoys being with beloved family, friends, and pets. In her spare time, she works on graphology, writes short stories, and practices knife throwing. She and her husband enjoy exploring Indiana and the surrounding states in their free time and hope to one day complete a trip through every single one.

One Comment

  1. Shari

    February 6, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Awesome article.. everyone should read this!

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