If we accept that calories are the currency of energy in our bodies and the balance between energy in and energy out determines whether we gain weight, lose weight or stay the same weight then we’ll do well here.
The natural, and sometimes flawed, way of thinking about calories in terms of weight lose then is:
If I eat fewer calories then I’ll lose weight’
Whilst this is true in the short term, chronic shortage of energy can lead to long term health problems.
We all know someone who cut their calories drastically as part of a challenge, detox or meal plan, lost a fair bit of weight, and then put it all back on afterwards.
We may even know someone who regularly eats so little that their health is compromised.
So, whilst cutting calories in the short term can promote weight loss, longer term restriction is a bad idea as you can mess with your metabolic rate, your hormone levels, your gut health, your bone health, your immune system, your menstrual cycle, your libido and your relationship with food itself.
Low calories diets in controlled settings as parts of studies have very low adherence rates – people just don’t stick to them! So how is that going to be different in the real world where free choice comes into it and the takeaway is always open?
Low calorie diets just aren’t sustainable in the long term and inevitably lead to people bouncing back further than where they started!