The Common Dieters' Mistake: Thinking That Eating Less Is Better!

When people think of a diet they think of pain, hunger and food depravation. Before we continue, lets stop right here and explain what is going on inside the body.
When people think of a diet they think of pain, hunger and food depravation. At first, most dieters reduce their food intake and see that in the first week they lose 10 pounds or so of weight. They say: "Great! In order to lose more weight I need to eat less."

After a few weeks they notice that they are not losing as fast as they had hoped for and then frustrated, if they are really determined to continue to lose weight they will start to starve themselves even more. Before we continue, lets stop right here and explain what is going on inside the body.

Why Eating Less Is Not The Answer!

The first week the subject lost weight as their metabolism got shocked by the lessened food intake. However, most of the weight was water and probably 3-4 pounds were fat. The second week the body, still not adjusted to the shock, continues to lose weight (even though not as fast as the first week). By the third week the body begins to take counter measures in order to adjust to the lowered caloric intake.

What do you do when your light bill goes up? You probably begin to save electricity in order to avoid losing money. The body, is just like you. When it sees that its metabolic costs are too high (in other words that is losing fat because the metabolism is too high) then it decides to save energy and lower the metabolism in an attempt to keep the save fat from burning.

Therefore, the subject sees that the weight loss either slows down or just comes to a standstill. The way you save electricity is by turning appliances off, etc. The way the body does it is by losing muscle since muscle is the most expensive tissue to maintain.

So by looking at the scenario above, lets see what may potentially happen to the subject that is determined to lose the weight but that does not know how to go about it.

As the subject notices that the weight loss comes to a halt, he/she decides to lower the calories again. For the first few weeks this works but afterwards the weight loss comes to a standstill again. After a few cycles of the same thing the subject continues a spiral downwards. By this point most people just forget about the diet and start eating everything in site.

They gain back all the weight and then some (remember it will be easier for them to gain weight now as they lowered their metabolism by using the wrong dieting practices). Other dieters (a very small amount) unfortunately turn anorexic.

So what is the correct way to lose weight? The first step that will lead us to the right direction is to re-arrange our goals. Instead of thinking of losing weight we must think of losing fat and gaining or maintaining muscle (depending on your goal).

After that, here is what the subject on the example above should have done:

  1. Eliminated all junk foods and processed foods from the diet and opting for unprocessed natural foods instead.

  2. Cut back on fat (bad fats) and simple sugar calories.

  3. Increased water intake.

  4. Arranged his/her dieting program to contain 5-6 meals a day composed of 40-45% Carbs, 35-40% Protein, 20% Fat.

  5. Incorporated a sensible weight training routine (3-4 times per week if only interested in losing weight and toning).

  6. Added 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity, three to four times per week to his training regimen.

  7. Have patience and allow time to strip off the unwanted body fat. Typically, you will only be able to reduce body fat by two pounds per week at best, without losing muscle tissue.

So please remember that when you think of losing weight, don't make the most common dieters mistake of thinking that eating less is better. Think instead of losing fat and building muscle through good dieting and exercise as this is the path that is going to lead you to the body of your dreams (a lean toned looking one).