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Why Calorie Restriction Doesn't Work for Weight Loss

More than 200 years ago large people were more likely to survive.

For all the centuries humans have been on earth, we have been using a large percentage of our days, like most other animals still do, trying to get food. Previously we didn’t have many ways to store food and didn’t have the megamart or fatfood restaurant minutes away. We went through times, season by season, of feast and famine. Our bodies fattened up a little then slimmed down. During the famine, our bodies became efficient and gave us motivation through the form of hunger pangs to find more food. Now when we try to lose weight, our bodies are trying to help us through a famine but there is no famine—only abundance.

Most people can muster the discipline to restrict their calorie intake and lose some weight over a few weeks and even months. I have done it. Statistically for most people, me included, this type of weight loss has been temporary. When you eat the same foods at the same times, the same way but just eat less of them (as in calorie counting and portion control), you will lose some weight. As you start to lose weight, two things happen.

1. As you begin to weigh less you need fewer calories. Because of this, to lose more

weight you need to cut back on even more calories.

2. Your body doesn’t want to lose weight, so as you lose weight, your body gets more

efficient with the calories it receives.

It gets worse. Your body really, really doesn’t want to starve to death so it provides you with extra motivation to go find food and that motivation is serious hunger. So, as you lose weight through restricting calories and eating the same foods at the same times, you need less and less calories while you get more and more hungry. You can white knuckle it for a while, but usually not for more than a few months. Why is this all the case? We are caught at the beginning of the time when refrigeration and food are readily available. Our bodies haven’t caught up to that. Perhaps our decedents 500 years from now won’t struggle with this situation as our bodies evolve. If calorie restriction, portion control, eating the same things, but less of them doesn’t work, then what does?

Stay tuned.


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