One Meal a Day Dieting – Recipe For Failure?
Weight loss is becoming a National pastime. 65% of Americans are overweight, the highest number in the world. More than 120 million Americans have a body mass index (BMI) of 24.9 or higher making them overweight or obese. It is estimated that by 2015; 3 out of 4 Americans will be overweight.
In response to this many people trying to lose weight use extremes to speed up the weight loss process. The effects of the one meal a day, severe calorie restriction and fad dieting can actually sabotage the weight loss results.
The Long Haul
For many people struggling to lose weight, their first reaction is the starvation plan. Severe calorie restriction, including one meal a day or calorie limits of 800 or less are often the weight loss plan; especially initially when the motivation is high. But this choice to restrict calories can have devastating results for the weight loss results.
Any dietary extremes; severely restricted calorie levels or removal or restriction of a food type (carbohydrates or fats, for example) or one meal a day plans all cause a multitude of problems. The first of which is the ability to maintain this level of restriction. In all other behavior modification or habit changing models the subject can be avoided; but food is necessary for survival and proper nutrition is essential for health and well being.
One of the side effects of severe calorie restrictions is the impact of the deprivation on the hormonal levels of the body. The hormonal problems can make dieting more painful and exaggerate emotions making the dieting far less likely to be successful.
The body strives for balance, the severe dieting will stop at some point and the rebound effect will be a dramatic increase in calorie consumption. The deprivation will be replaced by desire and the low calorie restriction may be suddenly replaced with high calorie cravings. The one meal a day restriction is especially difficult to maintain for long periods of time.
When you cut intake to one meal a day or severely low levels of calories (under 800 calories); your body begins to move to survival mode; as it believes it is starving. The metabolic rate slows down to allow for survival. This is further aggravated in the one meal a day plan; as the body becomes convinced you are not eating at all and the metabolic rate slows further.
By reducing calories to a reasonable and healthy level of 1200 to 1800 calories, using small frequent meals throughout the day the metabolic rate will increase. By adding more exercise and healthy food choices the weight loss process becomes more manageable.
Small portions, of 300 to 500 calories at frequent intervals throughout the day with a healthy mix of protein, healthy fats and fruits and vegetables can lead to faster and longer lasting results.
Weight loss is a long term process. Fad diets, removal of entire food groups or one small meal a day plans and severe calorie restriction can slow down the weight loss process. Losing fat, maintaining a healthy weight and meeting nutritional needs is essential for successful weight loss.
Everyone is looking for a quick fix; one small meal or a handful of calories looks like a fast start. But the impact of hormonal and metabolic changes and the inability of most dieters to sustain the restriction will invariably lead to frustration and failure.
Small meals, with a healthy mix of nutritional components and frequent exercise will bring results without the emotional highs and lows of the one small meal; and without the frustration that can be caused by setting yourself up for failure.
Moving philosophically to healthy living is the best way to lose weight and keep it off.
“Never Count Calories Again! Free 47 minute video reveals the secret to losing weight without counting calories ever again! To Download your copy visit http://www.freenakednutritionvideo.com Mike Roussell is an author and nutrition doctoral student at Pennsylvania State University. Mike writings can be found in Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness and Ironman Magazines. Learn more at http://www.freenakednutritionvideo.com”
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