Is this you? Do you starve yourself during the day, eat only once at night and still no pounds are coming off?
In my opinion this is one of the greatest misconceptions in the modern world. People still think that by severe calorie restriction they can safely loose body fat.
Well, the truth is in most cases not only don't they loose body fat but they don't even lose any body weight.
The reasons for that are two - big ones:
* The body enters in the starvation mode with consequent metabolic rate slow down
* Rather significant calorie ingestion at night causes the body to store the surplus as fat
Let's take a look at the first one. The body is an incredible machine. It was made to be used throughout the day, and used a lot, that is. It was also made to survive continuous use without any food. That's why we have our fat stores, which actually are our survival energy depots.
We don't like that, but we have to accept it because that's how mother Nature has created us. Many thousand years ago we wouldn't survive without this quality of ours.
In order to keep the body fat levels low we have to introduce enough calories throughout the day. This way the body (that smart machine) thinks there is no reason to start preserving its favorite source of energy - the fat.
How much calories are enough ? In any case your total daily calorie intake should be above the so-called Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) or also known as Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). This is the minimum calories your body needs for all its living processes as well as some minor movement during the day.
The easiest way to determine your BMR is to find your Lean Body Mass and multiply it by 11. The Lean Body Mass (LBM) is your Total Body Mass without the fat tissue. Obviously you will need to know your body fat percentage to be able to determine your LBM.
"But how can I eat so many calories in one or two sittings?", you'd then ask. Well, I am glad you asked. Who said and when did he say it that you should eat only once or twice a day?
Remember! You will NEVER be able to lose body fat if 1) you eat less calories than your body needs to function properly; and 2) if you don't trick your body that you are not starving it. You do that by introducing some calories every 2.5 - 3 hours throughout the day.
So, I said it: You MUST divide your daily calorie intake into 5 - 6 small meals. Then, and only then will you start losing body fat again!
Now, let us look at the second big reason for fat loss failure: rather significant calorie intake in one meal only.
You might still be eating less calories than your BMR, but nonetheless an amount of calories that can NOT and should NOT be fitted in one single meal. And if you eat a lot of calories, it is very likely that you eat a lot of carbohydrates, too.
What happens when you eat a lot of carbohydrates at once, regardless of whether it is mostly simple or complex carbs or mix of both, your body will trigger exaggerated insulin production in order to quickly remove the abnormally high glucose levels.
Insulin is the blood sugar carrier hormone. It will carry the excess blood sugar straight to the fat cells where it is most readily accepted in the presence of insulin surplus. The result: you gain fat.
Even if you didn't eat a lot of carbohydrates in this one meal, and the calories came mostly from large quantities of protein and fat, you will still store the surplus as body fat.
This is all due to the body being in starvation mode, and as a consequence the metabolism has been slowed down - simply the body doesn't need that many calories at once.
You've been staving it throughout the day and it has now learned to maintain its functions with a lot less. That's why the calories, once normal for you, are now considered calories in surplus.
This is all simple logic. Everyone, who severely restricts calorie intake in an attempt to lose body fat, should once and forever learn how the body functions in regards to how we treat it foodwise and what we expect it to do in return.
Remember the two important messages from this article: 1) NEVER, starve your body; and 2) NEVER eat your daily calorie allowance in one or two meals only! Doing either one will set you for failure.