To diet or not to diet …?
You decide to bite the bullet and go on a diet … but have you tried multiple diets and wondered why they fail? Or even why they DO work but you then find out that although you initially lost some weight by training hard and eating less, these pounds also slowly gained over time?
Read this article before you decide to throw in the towel completely.
What happens to the body when we start dieting?
Well imagine your body as a company, complete with CEO, vice presidents, departments, and even customers and shareholders.
Leptin (the shareholders) is a hormone that tells your brain how satiated you are or in this example, how much money is being made. Research has shown that your leptin levels can drop by 50% after two weeks of strict dieting. So you can imagine that the shareholders will stand on their back feet when suddenly there is 50% less money coming in, the shareholders call upon the CEO for an explanation.
The role of the CEO is to keep the peace (homeostasis) and he will therefore instruct his vice president to put things in order. The vice president goes to his department heads and tells them to be more economical. In every department, some people are being pushed, processes are made more efficient. And where previously 2500 calories were needed for body heat, bowel movements and the production of enzymes testosterone & thyroid hormone, now suddenly only 2000 calories are needed.
The whip about it
On the other hand, the “whip” or top sales guy in every company will go over the sales department and the hunger hormone ghrelin will make you feel more hungry and start looking for more food.
A fantastic system to ensure that the company does not go out of business, i.e. you do not drop dead after a few days of hunger wandering on a savannah 100,000 years ago. Only not useful when you are trying to lose a few pounds and your body turns against you.
Paying a dividend
In order to maintain a body that functions as well as possible, it is therefore important that we keep shareholders satisfied. In the 100-day fit program, we do this by, among other things, paying out dividends in the form of refeeds. Every two weeks we bring your calories to the level necessary to keep shareholders happy. Leptin levels will return to their normal levels, there is no need to cut back and you will have renewed energy for your workouts.
How does it work when I lose weight?
The chart below shows how a 100 pound person’s metabolism will adapt when he / she loses 1% per week. The blue line shows a small drop, which is inevitable, a smaller body simply uses fewer calories than a larger body. The yellow line shows how many calories the same person could still eat if the correct strategies are not followed.
Research has indicated that the metabolism can adapt by 20%. So for this person, after 100 days of “wrong” diets, he / she can only eat 2000 calories a day to maintain their weight.
In the green line we show how we continue to build up the calories and in this way ensure that this person still loses weight while eating 2450 calories.
2450 calories per day versus 2000 calories per day to maintain your weight? That’s almost 16,000 calories per week !!
While dieting, is crucial combined with the physical aspect for a successful weight loss, journey; also knowing how to manage this process so you are NOT low on energy, or constantly hungry is just as important. This knowledge can make the difference between walking around whistling while you lose weight like hey this feels manageable and I enjoy it, compared to walking around like a hungry, energy-less grump ! If you manage the process and understand why you are doing it then you ultimately have more success with your nutrition!