Typically there is a low adherence and high dropout rate with low-calorie diets and most people who have lost bodyweight tend to gain it back and more within five years. This is the so-called "yo-yo diet effect" when your body, having been restricted of energy, rebels by hoarding as much fat as needed to survive when previous eating habits (i.e., higher-calorie diet) resume. Eating a low-calorie diet is not sustainable nor healthy for the long-term. A risk of nutrient deficiencies and a dramatic drop in caloric intake slows down metabolic rate which slows down weight loss. When following a low-calorie diet, most of the bodyweight lost is lean body weight (i.e., muscle mass). The only way to attenuate the loss of muscle mass is to perform resistance training (i.e., lifting weights). The insidious part about losing bodyweight when following a low-calorie diet is that the loss of muscle tissue is usually accompanied by bodyfat increase. This means that although you've lost bodyweight, you've also gained bodyfat in the process. In other words, you've become a skinnier, fat person--underweight but having a higher bodyfat composition. Keep in mind that fat is much less dense than muscle tissue.
So what's a healthier diet plan option? The answer is any eating plan in which there's a gradual reduction in calories (i.e., 250 calories/wk) and that is sustainable for the long-term (i.e., permanent change in eating habits). In this way, less muscle mass will be sacrificed. The diet plan should be complimentary to your lifestyle (i.e., the more active you are, the more carbs you should eat). Eat four to six times per day consisting of meals interspersed with snacks and be sure to perform anaerobic (i.e., weight training) as well as aerobic (i.e., cardiovascular) exercise two to three times and three to five times per week, respectively. Remember, weight training can reduce the loss of muscle mass that typically occurs when following a reduced-calorie diet plan.
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
Brian Danley, CFT "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." 408-688-1586 (cell) briandanleyfitness.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/briandanleyfitness https://www.facebook.com/BrianDanleyFitness
Subscribe to get the latest blog content:
I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.