Fantastic Mr Fox
I have touched on this in various blog posts over time but wanted to remind you of this in a Friday motivation post as it is so important to understand what you are up against.
Weight loss is never linear (I know you have heard it before) weight never comes off steady and regular every week, and this is why…
Your body does not like change, it doesn’t want to put weight on, it doesn’t want to lose it. It likes things as they are. Nice and relaxed. Why is this? Well it is simply trying to survive for as long as it can.
Losing weight signals a shortage in fuel supply (affecting its ability to live a long time)
Gaining weight signals more energy will be required to move you around and keep you going (affecting the body’s potential ability to live a long time)
Your body is simply an organism, like any other organism on the planet, it wants to reproduce, for as long as it can, to perpetuate and secure the future of the species.
And this is how the body does it:
WHEN YOU EAT TOO MUCH FOOD
This would mean the body has too much fuel for its needs so the excess would be stored as fat (which it doesn’t want to do as it’s not efficient lugging around a big belly) so it raises its metabolism (by beating the heart faster, making your organs work overtime, raising your body temp etc) in order to burn off those extra calories meaning they don’t get stored as fat.
See how hard you have had to work to become overweight in the first place!
WHEN YOU EAT LESS FOOD
Obviously the bit that concerns us! So when we eat less food than the body needs it simply does the opposite (to stop it losing weight). It lowers it’s metabolism by doing the reverse of everything it does when you eat too much food. This way it tries to keep your body weight constant.
Now it can only do this to a degree of course. If you lower your food intake enough (dramatically low) eventually it has no choice but to eat into your fat stores and then you WILL lose weight, but at this point it will also eat into muscle and organ tissue as well (trust me that is not what we want).
This is why when you starve yourself (think of POW’s) you don’t end up looking muscular and healthy, you look scrawny, weak and ill, and that’s because you ARE. Drastically eating too little food simply destroys your body and weight loss is never ever permanent and the damage done can last forever.
SO THE KEY IS THIS
Reduce your food a little bit, just enough to create a deficit but not enough to send the body into a panic. It will still register the lower fuel intake but it’s response will be smaller and less drastic, and this gives you the best chance of losing weight.
However every single week you are battling against your body. Some weeks you will win and a weight loss appears on the scales, other weeks, despite being perfect on the diet, the body will win, and no loss will show, or certainly not a loss you think you deserve.
It doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong, it simply is what it is and this single fact is why most people fail on a diet. As soon as they don’t see the result they feel they deserve they either go off and binge on food (completely undoing the good they have done) or they swap diets (with a binge in-between the two diets) again undoing the progress they have made, which is why people diet for years and years and get no where.
NOW, if you realise that each week is a battle, some you win and some you lose, but you are consistent and keep going then you WILL win, science is on your side, biology is your friend, but this is why permanent weight loss can never ever be fast. The faster you try to do it, the harder the body will fight back and slow it down.
So think of your weight loss just like Fantastic Mr Fox did when pinching from the farmers stores. He simply took a little at a time despite being faced with an orgy of food, in the hope that the farmers didn’t notice a little at a time going missing. This way he was able to do it for a long period and ultimately gain massive amounts of supplies.
You need to do the same, steal a bit of fat from the body each week, not so much that it panics, just enough to go unnoticed, and then week on week it all adds up and eventually, bingo, you’ve achieved your goals.
Aim for 1lb a week and I guarantee you will succeed. Any more than that (which of course can be done) means you have to be prepared for weeks where the scales do not move because the body catches on to what you are doing!