People tend to approach fat loss diets using extreme, restrictive, and aggressive approaches.
When you’re unhappy with how you look and want to make changes to your body composition, it is tempting to want results right here, right now and at all costs.
However, by using this approach, you might be preventing yourself from reaching your long term goals.
When dieting, a key goal should be to retain as much muscle mass as possible. However, when consuming a caloric deficit, sadly, the body does not exclusively burn fat, which means that there is muscle wastage too.
How much muscle wastage depends on the severity of your calorie deficit. Therefore, by dropping your calories too low, you can end up losing your hard earnt gains.
I want you to imagine two people both trying to lose weight. One is called Geoff, and the other is called Keith.
They are both roughly the same height, weight, and have similar activity levels.
Geoff cuts carbs, drops his calories right down and to begin with he is losing weight fast. Keith, on the other hand, only drops his calories slightly, and his weight loss is prolonged.
After a few weeks into his diet, Geoff starts to feel pretty tired. His bodies fuel stores are gradually emptying, and he gets lazy. Geoff begins to move less, he feels pretty tired, and his training intensity drops due to his lack of calories.
Keith is still plodding along on his higher caloric intake. He is moving lots, training hard in the gym, feeling good and looking on point. Keith still has a great social life. He goes out now and then and enjoys meals out with his friends and family, but can fit these foods into his lifestyle.
Eventually, Geoff feels like he has hit a wall with his fat loss progress. His weight loss has all but stopped, and his body is now in a state where it is using protein for energy. His muscle mass decreases, and he begins to look worse than his diet before he started his diet.
The moral of this story? More isn’t necessarily better in the case of a deficit, and extreme weight loss will very rarely work long term.
A calorie deficit will elicit fat loss. However, the extremity of it will often dictate the success of the outcome.
When Harry Met Salad