Weight Loss Myth #1: Calorie restriction does not work!

Tteokbokki with sticky noodle

Tteokbokki with sticky noodle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1) We need a minimum amount of calories per day to function. The minimum calories needed depends on age, gender, body size and activity level. It ranges from 1400 cal to 3500 cal per day. Some diet or exercise experts may suggest 500 fewer calories per day than your daily caloric needs for weight loss. However, the first thing you would notice is lack of energy. Calorie restriction may result in rapid weight loss in a short period of time for some people, however, it typically scarifies lean muscle loss and water loss. This is not a healthy weight loss!

2) Calorie restriction may not work for some because your body is always in a fat storage mode. So it does not matter how little you eat, your body will always want to store the food as fat. Have you noticed that some people seem to eat a lot and do not gain weight? Some people eat very little and do not seem to lose weight?

3) It is impractical to count your calories for every meal and for a long period of time. Obviously, you don’t want to overeat and with little activity as well, this is just common sense.

4) Studies show that dieting as the only mode of behavioral modification in weight management has proven to have little long-term success with a >80% failure rate. It can also result in elevated weight regain and increased risk for diabetes and related metabolic disease after dieting.

5) When you focus on a low-calorie diet you slow down the body’s metabolism.  When your body’s metabolism slows down, it becomes more difficult to lose the unwanted pounds. If you want to lose weight, you need to increase your metabolism,  NOT DECREASE IT! Turn your body into a fat burning machine,  not a fat storage machine!

6) Lastly, the key secret in weight loss is to not focus on diet. It has to be a lifestyle change – for life.  When you lose weight through lifestyle change, you also change the lifestyles of others surrounding you.


Caloric Restriction Experience Reprograms Stress and Orexigenic Pathways and Promotes Binge Eating. The Journal of Neuroscience, December 01, 2010.

other links:

Daily Calorie Requirement Chart: http://www.positivehealthsteps.com/calories/daily-required.shtml


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1 Response to Weight Loss Myth #1: Calorie restriction does not work!

  1. Pingback: Mediterranean Diets Beat Low-Fat for CVD Prevention | Ask Dr. James

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