Watching diet doesn’t equal weight loss

Almost all of us try to lose weight at some point in our life. Maybe we can keep it up for a couple days, maybe a couple months. But our goals are similar: Feel more energized, lose weight, and don’t gain it back.

When starting a diet, of course how much food you eat, and how many calories you’re taking in every day, is a top priority. You need to balance the energy you’re taking in with the energy you’re expending. If you use more than you take in, you’ll lose weight.

But when you start eating less food, your body will begin to adapt the calorie expenditure, and your metabolic rate will slow down. Eventually you will need to decrease your calorie intake even more, in order to lose weight. But of course you may still feel just as hungry — or even more hungry than before, because you’re not giving your body enough nutrients with your lower calorie intake.

So if just consuming less calories does not work, what then do you need to do? Yes, you still need to restrict your calorie intake by a small amount (for example maybe just 100 calories less). But you can start by just taking one thing out of your diet. Let’s say you love eating rice. Or you love your dessert after dinner. You may like to just try changing the portion size, maybe to just 1/2 cup of rice, or instead of dessert try some whole fruit, or berries with Greek yogurt.

A recent study showed that it is low energy flux, and not energy surfeit, that increases body fat. And a high energy flux appeared to prevent fat gain, because the resting metabolic rate would increase. What this really means is that increasing your energy expenditure is a more effective way of reducing body fat than restricting calories.

If you want to see long-term results, and maintain your health, then you need to be active.

Exercise such as walking, maybe jogging, or just once in a while going over your comfort zone and trying something new is the key. Try it — you never know, you may like it!

Lastly, it is important to track your progress, and also to make sure you are choosing nutritious food, not just looking at the calories. When you start to nourish your body you will lose weight easily, and you will have more energy, too.

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Ayda Ersoy is a nutrition and fitness director at The Diet Doc Hawaii. She can be reached at DietDocHawaii.com,Ayda@DietDocHawaii.com or (808) 276-6892

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