I read something this week that, even for a seasoned anti-dieter, blew my mind. If you’re thinking of getting yourself back onto that diet before you have to get your arms out again for the summer…
Read this first.
You know that diets don’t work, right? You’ve tried, like, a zillion of them, and you know you always end up feeling tired, hungry and obsessed with eating everything in the fridge. After you’ve covered it in chocolate, that is.
You know that’s because your brain is hard-wired to make you want to eat as soon as you tell it that you can’t. You understand this is a survival mechanism designed to stop you dying of hunger when you don’t need to? Your body is very clever and your mind is designed to make you think of food so that you don’t forget to eat when you’re engrossed in something else, like Candy Crush or Eastenders.
The thing is, you still can’t help but think you should be able to reduce your calories a bit and lose weight. After all, you’re clearly fat and designed to survive a famine if one happens. So, what’s 1200 calories between friends?
Don’t. Do. It.
The reason diets are impossible to stick to? You’re not actually eating enough to keep yourself alive. You’re forcing your body to go into ‘only doing the bare minimum’ mode because there’s not enough fuel coming in to do anything helpful like get you to the gym, or walk you around the park. The things that would make you feel good, fit and healthy.
If you’re a tall (say 5 ft 10) 14 stone woman aged around 30, the bare minimum you need to get by, without moving your arse out of bed all day, is just under 1700 calories. If you don’t do any exercise and sit in an office all day, every day, you can add another 300 to that. So, your minimum calorie intake to keep you typing all day and checking Facebook when your boss isn’t looking, potter around a bit and that’s about all is 2000 calories. If you are moderately active, doing exercise for an hour three times a week, you need a bare minimum of around 2600.
So, you can see that if you try and get by on 1200 calories a day, whichever way you look at it, you’ll be very very hungry. In reality, unless you’re extremely small or extremely large, or have a metabolic illness, you probably need to eat 2000 – 3000 calories just to maintain your current body weight, every day
I came by a blog, by accident which really made me think, and that’s why I’m telling you all this stuff. You NEED fuel to be able to move, and if you don’t move around a bit, you’re going to feel crappy. Eating enough to fuel a bit of exercise will give you the physical oomph and energy you need to do all the stuff that’s going to make you feel good, while starving your sweet self on stupidly small amounts of food will leave you feeling washed out, knackered and desperate for Oreo Dairy Milk.Did I say don’t do it?
I’ll say it again. Don’t do it.
My suggestion is to stop worrying about weight loss (of course) and read the Go Kaleo blog, as well as Shauna’s experiences of 100 days ‘eating the food’. It might just change the way you feel about food, calories and diet, and FINALLY convince you that you were never designed to starve yourself in the first place…
Image: Piece Of Cake And Coffee Cup" by Sura Nualpradid – via freedigitalphotos.net