Your Trusted Source For Health & Nutrition

Home / Category / weight loss

The Truth About Calorie Restriction and Weight Loss

Jan 21, 2021

The Truth About Calorie Restriction and Weight Loss

Counting calories is a common diet technique. It involves carefully planning all of your meals to make sure the amount of calories in your food is under a certain threshold. The basic idea behind this is that if you eat fewer calories than your body needs for energy, you should burn fat and lose weight. Does this really work?

The Truth About Counting Calories 

Lowering your calorie intake modestly is a smart way to lose weight long term. This involves eating foods that are generally lower in sugar, unhealthy fats and processed ingredients, which is a good idea anyway. It’s important for your body to have plenty of nutrients.


It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that making homemade meals with fresh veggies and low-fat protein is better for losing weight than zipping through a drive-thru for a greasy burger and a huge soda. As an added perk, getting healthy omega-3 fats, vitamins and antioxidants makes you feel all-around great, from enjoying more energy to finding relief from joint pain.

The Low-Calorie Fallacy 

When the amount of calories you eat drops too drastically, your body thinks it’s in an emergency situation. This triggers the metabolism — responsible for burning fat — to practically shut down, hoarding every last calorie like there’s no tomorrow. If this happens, you can kiss your dreams of dropping 20 pounds goodbye, at least until you get your metabolism working again.

This is part where many dieters go wrong. They think, “if cutting a few hundred calories can help me lose a little weight, then cutting thousands of calories should make me lose a LOT of weight!” Unfortunately, that’s not how your body actually works. In fact, extreme diets can actually make you GAIN weight. Why?

1. Cutting Too Many Calories Kills Your Metabolism 

When the amount of calories you eat drops too drastically, your body thinks it’s in an emergency situation. This triggers the metabolism — responsible for burning fat — to practically shut down, hoarding every last calorie like there’s no tomorrow. If this happens, you can kiss your dreams of dropping 20 pounds goodbye, at least until you get your metabolism working again.

2. Cravings Can Make You Overeat a TON 

Extreme diets often make you feel deprived and hungry. Sure, you have self-control, and you force yourself to keep going. But the cravings are still there. Eventually, you give in. Did you know that going crazy even for just a day can undo your weight loss for an entire WEEK?

3. Stress Makes You Gain Weight 

Most extreme diets feel like punishing yourself. You’re not happy, you’re stressed. You can’t go out with friends like normal. Ultra-low-calorie diets also leave you without energy, feeling exhausted at work and at home.


All of this can cause you to gain pounds. Stress triggers a hormone called cortisol that makes you hungry ALL THE TIME. It ups your cravings for sugar, fat, salt — you name it.


The Secrets To Eating Healthy and Really Losing Weight 

It’s better to choose a diet that makes you feel satisfied and content. In other words, you want to get to the point where you don’t eat a lot of sugar or fat because they don’t really appeal to you as much. You don’t have as many cravings because you love the healthy foods you’re eating.


Also, look for natural ways to boost your metabolism instead of slowing it down. Include plenty of protein in your diet with eggs, nuts, fish, meat or dairy. These foods increase your metabolism, reduce cravings and help you feel full faster.


Above all, enjoy life. We’re not saying to indulge in dessert constantly, but you can make smart choices while still spending time with the people who make you happy. It’s OK to go to a restaurant with friends and order a smaller portion of something reasonably healthy.

Category: weight loss