I was reading through a forum where someone commented about calorie restriction and adjustment. I can’t remember what site it was on, but it got me thinking anyways.
When you think about calorie restriction, you might imagine your ordinary diet—you eat less so that you can lose weight. A typical calorie restrictive diet is a plan followed temporarily until the results you are looking for are achieved—primarily with weight loss.
Being that I am overweight, but otherwise healthy (no medical problems contributing to weight gain), it’s evident that I consume far more calories than I burn—hence, my body stores the excess energy in fat cells.
As a 5’5 woman with a medium build, a healthy weight for myself would be about 130 (give or take). According to the American Cancer Society Calorie Counter, a 30 year old woman of this size would need about 1,900 calories to maintain that weight.
This means that throughout my life I have consumed more than 1,900 calories per day on average. I have no idea how many calories I would consume on a day where I am not consciously trying to limit my calorie intake, but let’s say I consumed 2,500 calories per day.
If I go on a “diet” and only eat 1,500 calories per day, is that truly restricting calories? You could think of it that way, but thinking of it as a calorie adjustment is more indicative of lifestyle change.
The reason for this is that I only truly need 1,900 calories per day to function and maintain my weight. For weight loss reasons, eating 1,500 calories per day would cause me to lose weight—but in reality it’s only 400 calories less than I would theoretically be eating if I were at a healthy weight of approximately 130 lbs. and wanted to maintain. Yes, it’s also 1,000 calories less than what I would be “over eating”, and a larger body requires more energy to function—so it would equal more weight loss.
If I am used to eating 2,500 calories per day and suddenly I am only eating 1,500, I’m probably going to be hungry because my body has gotten used to the higher calorie intake. Sometimes the hunger will be physical and other times emotional.
You could think of this as calorie restriction, but is it really restriction if your body doesn’t truly need 2,500 calories per day to function?
A calorie adjustment, which would mean that you are simply readjusting to consume the amount of calories that your body actually requires, and that once you lose the excess weight you will have adjusted to the true calorie requirement that your body needs.
It doesn’t stop there. If you begin to eat more calories than your body requires, the weight will come back on.
So my point is this—use the time that you are actively trying to lose weight to let your body adjust and work on an adjustment of your mind also. If you’re like me, a significant part of the reason you are overweight has to do with your emotions.
It’s kind of like re-calibrating the body and the changes truly will be an adjustment, both calorically and mentally.
This is my goal right now—to analyze my thought process which leads to over eating, and work on re-calibrating and adjusting my mind and body to a place of good health. I want the weight loss to be permanent this time—not just temporary.
What are your thoughts?