EATING TOO LITTLE -
JUST ANOTHER WAY TO MESS UP YOUR METABOLISM
Our body, which they say, is a perfect machine with its well-oiled mechanisms and its countermeasures to address our many mistakes. And that’s exactly what it does when we eat little. The human body, in spite of millions of years since the first appearance of a man, has still retained his primitive behaviors. It reacts almost instinctively, how to protect itself when it sees the beginning of a period of famine, trying somehow to survive the threat of food shortages.
More or less slowly, depending on caloric restriction, the body starts to change its metabolism or the amount of energy required to perform day to day life activities.
Imagine a woman who needs about 1800 kcal to perform all her daily activities and that for some reasons, start eating 1000 calories daily. After an initial period of adjustment and leading to weight loss, her metabolism will continue to fall closer and closer to those of 1000 Kcal are introduced with food every day.
It is because seeing the body get less fuel than it needs in fact, think: “Oh, here I guess you better start saving because otherwise, it ends badly.”
The biggest problem is that the metabolism slows down very quickly and not just manage to get back to its normal levels.
The weight loss you obtain is due to a loss of liquid, a destruction and cannibalization of muscle mass and in lesser case, part of fat mass loss. The process creates a vicious cycle that further slows consumption because the muscle masses are great accelerators of metabolism.
When it feels deprived of food, your body does exactly like electronic devices that anticipate a power failure, i.e., it goes into “sleep mode” and finds a way to spend fewer calories to perform the same tasks.
- It will pick up the calories that it lacks in your fat and muscle stores. Now, the muscles are the tissues of your body that spend the most energy. Losing muscle mass causes you to spend less energy in a day automatically.
- Between 7 and 10% of your energy expenditure in a day comes from the digestion of food. Again, eating less implies that you are spending fewer calories each day.
- Plus, your body learns from its mistakes. When you starve it for a while and decide to return to a healthy diet, it takes advantage of it to replenish its reserves in anticipation of the next famine. It is at this moment that you risk to regain all the lost weight and maybe even more!
In short, what you need to remember is always to avoid playing yo-yo with your weight!
Therefore it is crucial to pick up an actual programming of the dietary path and not an improvisation or even worse a diet “do it yourself”.