The first thing many people do when trying to lose weight is to begin dieting. This provides short term gains but is a completely ineffective way of achieving long term success.
The word ‘dieting’ needs to be defined in the context of this article. Restricting calorie intake is sensible when trying to reduce body fat but the crucial point is how much the calories are reduced. Dieting often leads to insufficient calorie intake which causes excessive fatigue, muscle atrophy, mood swings, lethargy and an inability to concentrate.
There are two main factors to consider when restricting calorie intake:
The body requires a certain amount of calories to function. The more active someone is and the more muscle mass they have the more calories are required to maintain health.
Lethargy will make exercise less effective as the body is too hungry to perform properly. Muscle mass will deteriorate, exercise becomes more infrequent and metabolic rate consequently slows down.
To achieve sustainable, healthy weight loss you need to exercise. This should include cardiovascular exercise and resistance training and should be completed several times a week. By constantly challenging the body you’ll increase metabolic rate which in turn causes more calories to be burnt at rest. In order to train effectively the body needs to be fueled so it’s able to work hard enough – this is why dieting should be avoided.
Dieting is not a long term solution for anyone trying to lose weight. Adequately fueling the body to enable it to exercise properly is the only way to safely increase metabolic rate and consequently burn more body fat.