When you first start a diet, the weight will probably come off pretty quick. Before long, weight loss will slow down and can even stop completely. This slow down is our body’s response to weight loss. For survival, weight loss is bad and the body will try and stop it.
Our metabolism is controlled by three main activities. Thermic effect of food is the energy used for the digestion and absorption of what we eat. It is controlled by how much and the type of food we eat. The more we eat, the more calories will be used.
Physical activity is the area that we have the biggest control over. It includes all the physical work and exercise that we do in a day: running, walking and moving around.
Basal Metabolic Rate
Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the biggest contributor to calorie expenditure. It is the energy used for many functions in the body including the calories burned by the liver and kidneys.
Cutting Calories = Slower Metabolism = Smaller Calorie Deficit
When we reduce our intake of food, the calories we burn to digest and absorb the food is decreased along with our BMR. BMR is dynamic meaning our body will adjust it according to our calorie intake. If you reduce the amount you eat, your BMR will be decreased and you will burn fewer calories. This will slow or stop your weight loss.
If you can afford it, you can cut more calories to lose more weight. Don’t go under 1200 calories per day since it’ll bet very hard to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. A better solution is to offset the decrease in BMR with an increase in physical activity.
The Bottom Line
A diet isn’t a constant prescription. It should change in response to physical activity, age, foods eaten and goals. Monitoring these factors will result in a more successful diet that doesn’t leave you on a plateau.