When a calorie deficit is first introduced weight loss usually occurs however it doesn’t take long before the weight loss stops because the body develops a weight regulating mechanism that recognizes food shortages and decreases its metabolic rate to protect you. This process is called the “Starvation Response”. The problem with dieting or a drastic decrease in calories is that the body cannot distinguish between dieting and starving. When you decrease your caloric intake quickly your body goes into starvation mode and tells your fat cells to hold on for dear life. Instead your body will start to use your muscle as energy. This is the reason that so many people slow there metabolism by dieting. Muscles burn more calories than fat twenty-four hours a day. The more your body uses your muscles for energy the further you decrease the amount of calories that you burn all day long, even at rest making it harder to maintain your weight. Ever wonder why most people who go on diets end up gaining the weight back and more? This is because they lost there muscle instead of their fat and decreased there resting metabolic rate. Eating enough food and small frequent meals throughout the day is absolutely essential for an effective weight loss program. This gets your metabolism working at top speed to help you burn fat instead of your valuable muscle tissue.
Other Drawbacks of Fad Diets;
They don’t teach good habits
Slow down metabolism
Most of the weight lost from a low calorie diet is mostly muscle
Body starts producing less fat burning enzymes (lipoprotein lipase)
T3 (thyroid hormone) output decreases
Appetite may increase as a protective response
Focuses on weight instead of body composition
An important thing to remember when trying to lose weight is that building muscle is a critical component for fast and effective fat loss. Notice I said “fat loss” and not “weight loss”. This is because muscle weights more than fat so you may even find that you are gaining weight. The important thing to look at is how many inches’s and body fat you have lost. Weight training just three times a week can make a huge difference in a fat loss program. You need to make sure that you are taking a day off in between to allow for muscle recovery.