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Calorie deficiency question

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  • Calorie deficiency question

    I'm hoping that those of you better informed than I ( i.e everyone here ) can help me with the following questions on calorie deficits :

    1. I often read that diets involving a serious calorie deficit don't work in the long-term because the body, in its quest for stasis , "adapts" itself to the new lower intake. Could someone please explain to me exactly how this magic "adaptation" process works ? I know the calories in = calories out equation is incorrect in terms of explaining actual weight loss, but we are still dealing with simple input/outputs here aren't we ?

    2. Let's assume I've reached my target weight, and I expend 2000 calories in a normal day. Why shouldn't I consume say 1200 calories a day and let the above-mentioned "adaptation" process take care of the deficit ( always assuming no nutritional deficiencies ) ? Eating less than 2000 calories per day has to be cheaper, quicker and less taxing on the digestive system and other organs.

    As an afterthought, there seems to be quite a lot of evidence building up linking calorie restriction to longevity - maybe this is the way to go ?

  • #2
    I used to think exactly the same way - it seems like common sense, but since reading Good Calories Bad Calories I see things differently. The key is hunger. It's a survival mechanism which which tend to win over good intentions. The only way to live long term on a calorie deficit is to get used to feeling hungry. Calories in - calories out doesn't really apply because in fat loss it's all about losing, well fat, and if you are taking in a lot of carbohydrate, which makes stored fat difficult to access, you can be 'starving' internally, even if you have plenty of body fat. You have no access to your fat stores. So you will be hungrier, and therefore eat more and due to your lack of energy, move less.

    And as I understand it, the longevity part of the equation may come from protein restriction, not just calorie restriction.

    That probably deserved a longer answer, but kids are calling for brekky
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