What would you say if your boyfriend told you that your low calorie, low carb diet is wack!? Well I’m that boyfriend, and I’m here to explain why your low calorie diet is hurting you more than it’s helping.
How often have you heard that you can lose weight by eating only 1000 to 1200 calories a day? Or that carbs are evil? No bread, no pasta, no oatmeal and no potatoes? Have you tried low carb or low calorie diets that transform you into a hangry (angry as a result of hunger) animal ready to pounce on the closest crumb you can find? What if I told you, you could eat more food and lose weight? That’s right. You’ll no longer have to turn down Italian date night or sweat about that extra scoop of potatoes that somehow found it’s way onto your plate. What is this phenomenon that opposes everything you’ve ever read or seen in a fitness magazine? Metabolic Capacity.
As explained by respected scientist, bodybuilder, and coach, Dr. Layne Norton, metabolic capacity is the amount of calories your body can handle before you gain weight. Your body is built to survive, and strives to maintain HOMEOSTASIS, so it’s very good at adjusting to the amount of calories you eat.
For example, say you normally eat around 2000 calories to maintain your current weight and you want to lose 10 lbs. To do this, you limit your calories to 1200 calories, and for six weeks you lose a total of 6 lbs! Yay go you! But in the following three weeks you don’t lose any more weight. This is because you’re a survivor, you’re going to make it, you’re going to survive and keep on surviving AND because your body has adjusted to live off those 1200 calories and adequately distributes the low energy source despite the amount of butt-busting cardio and training you do.
Typically, in order to lose more weight, you need to cut more calories and when you stop losing you cut more out. As you can see, this is a very, very bad thing for your body as your overall caloric intake drops unhealthily low. Take a look at NPC bikini competitor, Amy Von Rummelhoff‘s experience when she was derailed from her competitions by metabolic damage. So how can you use metabolic capacity to your advantage?
- Regulate the number of carbs you eat daily by tracking your current eating habits on My Fitness Pal!
- Set an average daily carb intake based on your current intake and maintain that average for the next two or three weeks.
- Start adding in those carbs sloooowly! Start by increasing your carb intake 5-10 grams and maintain that new carb amount for the whole week, and add 5-10 grams more the following week, while maintaining that new amount for 7 more days, eat and repeat! (Experiment with adding in 1/8 cup more oatmeal or an extra handful of noodles and calculating the carb amount in My Fitness Pal) Paying attention o dietary measurements is key to success on this eating plan!
- It gets better! You simultaneously will add 1or 2 grams of fat a week, following the same instructions for carbs. That means add a bit more peanut butter or a little extra avocado or olive oil to your salad.
What foods should you be eating? These are some typical staples in Ben Noy’s fitness model diet. A large part of successfully achieving fitness goals includes educating yourself so make sure you do your research.