Stop Counting Calories!

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Stop Counting Calories

Something I am starting to notice as a common trend with my clients is that they are all still counting calories, cutting calories, and restricting food intake with the goal of losing weight.  This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make not only for weight loss, but for health.  When I look at these same clients’ lab results, they all show signs of malnourishment of at least important nutrient, and usually several.  Often times, this malnourishment explains most of their symptoms!  The idea behind counting and cutting calories is FALSE, and I know this not only because I used to do it and I changed and saw immediate results; I also know this because there is no science that supports that cutting calories results in long-term weight loss.  In fact, biology and science say the opposite!

We have have unique bodies and different metabolisms.  Some people have a slow metabolism, or Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and gain weight quickly, and some have a fast BMR and burn weight quickly.  No doubt while reading this you nodded your head because you know which one you are!  BMR is also affected by age, gender, height, weight, temperature, exposure to environmental toxins, and more.  In general, speeding up the BMR will make you lose weight faster while slowing down the BMR will make you gain weight faster (*Disclaimer: I DO NOT advocate for manipulating BMR for the sole purpose of weight loss.  In fact, focusing on weight loss as a “health” goal is another huge fallacy in our culture and will be the topic of my next blog post!  However, I am explaining how BMR affects weight so you can understand how cutting calories affects weight and why cutting calories is jeopardizing you weight loss goals and more important is jeopardizing your health).  Well, you can look in any college-level nutrition book and see what happens to ANYONE, no matter if you have a slow or fast BMR, that cuts their calories for long enough: you enter “starvation mode” and your BMR slows.  You may experience this as a plateau in a weight loss program, by an inability to lose weight at all, OR as an increase in weight!

The reason why our body slows the BMR after cutting calories is because it thinks we are in some great famine, and to prepare for sustained food deprivation it slows the food we burn and increase the food we store.  It STOPS turning our food into energy (causing fatigue), STARTS storing our food as body fat to be used later (causing weight gain), AND increases hunger so we know that our body needs more nutrients.  This means that you can eating hardly any calories and still gain weight.  You will of course feel hungry and fatigued because your body isn’t getting the energy and calories that it needs.

Furthermore, by cutting calories you are missing out on essential nutrients that do things like create your neurotransmitters and hormones (so you may feel depressed, anxious, have low libido, have mood swings, PMS, etc.), create enzymes and antibodies (so you may start to get digestive issues and immune issues like frequent illness),  phytonutrients that fight cancer and help your immune system, and chemical messengers that make you feel full (so you will constantly feel hungry).  This doesn’t sound like health to me! PLUS you aren’t even losing the weight, at least not long-term! This means that we are self-loathing because we are doing everything we can to eat as little as possible and blaming ourselves because we are literally starving and still gaining weight, that this has nothing to do with free will: it is just biochemistry!

And this isn’t just me speaking from personal experience and my background in biology.  This has been proven again and again by science that shows that cutting calories doesn’t work.  Check out this article: Schoeller DA. The energy balance equation: looking back and looking forward are two very different views. Nutr Rev. 2009 May;67(5):249-54, and this article: Brownell KD, et. al. Personal responsibility and obesity: a constructive approach to a controversial issue. Health Aff (Millwood). 2010 Mar-Apr;29(3):379-87, and these two: BMJ 2013;346:f1050, J. Clin Invest 2011:121:4161-9, and this one: JAMA 2012; 307(24):2627-2634, and this one: PloS ONE 2013;8:e58172.  I could seriously keep going and going, and if you are interested in an exhaustive list, let me know.

The point of all of these articles is that it’s not cutting calories that matters or works: it’s the specific foods you eat.  If you are eating enough of the vegetables, proteins, and fats that provide the nutrients your body needs, your body will feel full, energized, and balanced.  Notice I didn’t say anything about measuring, counting, or cutting.  Or anything about being constantly hungry, weak, and exhausted.  If you are eating food for health, your food should make you feel healthy.  And low-calorie diets do not offer that service.

Check out my next post about why WEIGHT IS NOT A MEANINGFUL METRIC OF HEALTH.  

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I make your health my priority so you can make your dreams your priority!

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AWP-11proud_member_logo_mediumLori Valentine Rose, PhD, CNP, BCHN, RH (AHG) is a college biology, nutrition, herbal, and wellness instructor, board certified nutrition professional and holistic nutrition consultant, registered herbalist, wife, mother, organic vegetable, fruit, and medicinal herb gardener, school garden planter, city class teacher, and passionate Zumba dancer!  She created, developed, and instructs the Hill College Holistic Wellness Pathway, the most thorough, affordable, degreed wellness program in the country.  She loves spreading love and light, and helping others feel awesome on the inside and out so they can live their dreams and make this world more awesome!  Lori Rose Holistic does not replace medical advice or working with your doctor, and she does not diagnose, treat, or cure disease.  Her goal is to educate, and any actions you take are voluntary and of your own free will.

If you are tired of doctors that only spend 5 minutes with you only to give you medications that are band-aids and don’t address the root cause of your issues,

If you are tired of counting calories and failed diets,

If you are tired of feeling overwhelmed, helpless, and hopeless with exhaustion, pain, and illness,

If you are looking for a practitioner to finally take the time to listen, empathize, encourage, and empower you with the tools to take control of your life again,

If you are ready to start feeling awesome so you can start doing awesome,

Then you have come to the right place!  I am a passionate, educated, skilled practitioner that promises to work on an individualized plan designed just for you so you can start feeling like yourself again!

If you are ready to learn the tools and skills needed to get the vitality back into to your life then email me at loriroseholistic@gmail.com to set up your free 15 minute introductory consult!

LET’S GET YOU FEELING AWESOME SO YOU CAN DO AWESOME!!!!



 

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