By Dr. Shikha Sharma
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“The calorie deficit diet will not help you lose weight – quite the opposite’’

“The calorie deficit diet will not help you lose weight – quite the opposite’’

The calorie deficit is one of the most popular methods for losing weight. The concept is straightforward: eliminate as many calories as possible from the daily food intake, with the purpose of burning stored fat and losing weight. Sounds like a pretty forward way to lose fat, doesn’t it? Not so much. 

The calorie deficit is an unscientific, unnatural way of losing weight that may take a huge toll on one’s body. It does not consider the human digestion or metabolism differences in each person and completely ignores the nutritional value of foods and their impact after digestion.

Limiting the number of calories you take may lead to some initial weight loss, but this will largely be offset over a longer period of time. The scientifically validated concept of ‘Nutritive Value’ rather than calories is the correct way to plan a diet.

Your body needs the necessary nutrition!

Your body needs balanced nutrition containing all essential nutrients to function. The body uses these in 3 basic processes necessary for your existence 

  1. Basic organ functions – Your body needs calories and nutrition to cover the basic functions of your necessary organs including your brain, kidney, heart, lungs, and nervous system. The nutrition required for the functions fall under the Basal metabolic rate (BMR).
  2. Digestion – Your body uses a certain number of calories to digest and metabolize the foods you eat. This is also known as the thermic effect of food (TEF).
  3. Physical Activity – Your body needs calories and nutrition for everyday activities, tasks, and workouts.

A healthy person’s body needs the basic recommended daily allowances of essential nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fats, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, vitamins, minerals, oils, and many more micronutrients to stay healthy.

When you go on a calorie-deficit diet, you are also depriving your body of these necessary nutrients. Even if you stay still all day, your body needs these nutrients to keep you alive.

If you go on a calorie-deficit diet, your body will dip into its calorie reserves initially and you will lose weight. However, this will happen only until your body enters “survival mode”. What happens next is far from ideal!

What happens when you don’t give your body adequate nutrition?

When you are on a calorie-deficit diet and your body realizes that it is not getting enough calories on a regular basis, it becomes efficient with its energy consumption. It starts holding on to calories and begins to burn less and less. In “this survival state”, the following happens to your body 

Metabolism slows down leading to weight gain

The “survival state” decreases the rate at which your body burns calories – which leads to a slower metabolism. As a result, most people who follow a low-calorie diet quickly gain weight once they stop dieting. To prevent your weight loss diet from affecting your metabolism, make sure that you never eat fewer calories than are required to sustain your BMR. On the contrary, the focus should be on eating nutrient-dense foods which are non-fattening.

Be aware that sluggish metabolism can persist long after a low-calorie diet is stopped.

It can cause fatigue and nutrient deficiencies

Restrictive diets may cause extreme deficiencies in your body. Lack of sufficient amounts of nutrients like iron, folate, and Vitamin B12 can lead to anemia and extreme fatigue. A lack of essential vitamins and minerals can weaken your immunity. This increases your risk of illnesses and infections.

To prevent fatigue and nutrient deficiencies, avoid overly restricting your calories and ensure you eat a Nutrient rich food with a variety of whole, minimally processed foods.

It may result in eating disorders

Overly obsessive calorie tracking and dietary restriction may result in an eating disorder. Food has a lot of control over us when it is viewed as “good” or “bad,” which can lead to significant stress in our lives. The reward of food stimulation intensifies when we are chronically deprived of calories, which may result. This is what leads to the classic food cravings problem faced by many.

It increases the risk of reduced fertility

Extreme calorie restriction may have a detrimental impact on fertility. This is mainly true for women because hormone levels are the main factor in ovulation. More specifically, ovulation requires an increase in oestrogen and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, and the LH levels in women partially depend on the nutrient content of the food. Reduced oestrogen levels, which are known to have long-lasting detrimental impacts on bone and heart health, are another consequence of low-calorie intake. Menstrual periods that are irregular or non-existent may be signs of decreased fertility.

What is the Vedique Diet?

Envisioned by Dr. Shikha Sharma, the Vedique Diet is India’s #1 Doctor-driven, scientific weight loss & disease management programme. It is an amalgamation of the best practices of science-backed Ayurvedic nutrition and modern nutrition. The programme follows the philosophy of the Ayurvedic understanding of body composition (prakriti), and the way food and the environment react with our body.

The programme has helped over 46000 patients lose weight, fight diseases, and become healthier over the past 20 years. 

To be a part of the Vedique Diet programme:

Click here  Vedique Diet program 

Follow – Dr. Shikha’s Nutrihealth

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