Gaining weight is in fact an adaptive feature of the human body, going back many thousands of years, to a time when there was scarcity of food. In an effort to prevent starvation, the body learned how to store excess calories as fat, and burn them off, whenever food scarcity came about. While this was very effective in times gone by, in today’s affluent society, it spells disaster.
What is actually more troubling than weight gain, is the difficulty which is involved in losing weight. Since the body has also developed an adaptation, which results in the metabolism going into a slow mode, if calories are suddenly cut, this feature helps in time of food scarcity, such as famine. Sadly, for the frustrated dieter, it means that whenever they attempt a crash diet, the weight losses quickly comes to a stop.
And worse still, once the metabolism slows down, it stays down permanently. This results in a spiral of ever decreasing circles, as the metabolism becomes slower and slower with each new crash diet, until eventually, the dieter gives up completely, on their weight loss efforts.
The only effective way to burn the fat and keep it off, involves an understanding of the body’s metabolic rate. The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the level of calories required in order to maintain weight. In order to lose weight, it is evidently necessary to lower calories, below the BMR. However, in order to prevent the metabolism from going into “starvation mode“, it is important to only reduce the calories by a small amount.
A small calorific decrease a few hundred calories below the BMR, and will surely result in good weight loss in the long-term. Many people want to diet fast, and yet they do not realise that it is far better to lose 2lb. per week and keep it off, rather than to lose 5lb., which is mainly water anyway, and then to regain the weight within a few weeks.