One of the many reasons why most of the diets fail is because they ask you to count your calories, weigh your food or remove certain food groups from your diet.
However, even though various diets just don’t mention anything about watching, tracking and counting calories, most people would still believe that they need to reduce their calorie intake if they want to lose weight.
This whole concept of tracking and restricting our calorie intake is so deep-rooted within us that even if we allow ourselves to eat breakfast, we will limit ourselves to consuming a protein bar, a hard-boiled egg or a green juice.
But, here is the truth – calorie restriction would not help you in losing weight, but it backfires. Keeping a rigid check over calorie intake ignores your biological needs, hormonal reactions and blood sugar responses.
Let’s have a quick look at few more such truths related to calorie counting, and what should be done instead.
- It makes it difficult for you to meet your nutrient needs
We often tend to underestimate the importance of vitamins, fiber, minerals and other nutrients to our well-being.
But, anything that is not visible, doesn’t necessarily mean, that it won’t impact your quality of life in long-term. Let’s understand this with the help of a simple example. Dietary calcium is important for our body functions like blood circulation and muscle control.
For the first 30 years of our life, our body stores excess calcium in bones. After 30, your body stops gaining muscle mass and starts relying on existing calcium storage. Thus, if you don’t consume the right food, your body won’t be able to meet the calcium needs after a certain age, and you will become prone to the risk of hip fractures and osteoporosis.
- It slows down your metabolism
When you start eating less just to limit your calorie intake, your body switches itself to survival mode and would start breaking down the muscles to release the stored glucose.
Losing muscle mass can have an adverse effect on your body. Further, it can even impact your weight loss goals, as our muscles burn calories 24 x 7, and when you have fewer muscles, they will burn fewer calories.
- It compromises your brain’s performance
This might not be expected, but once you start cutting your diet, you also start losing your mental edge. This is because our brain runs on glucose, and it needs enough of it to keep working. If you keep yourself hungry, it is only obvious that you won’t be able to work at the top of your capacities.
- It might give you gallstones
Low-calorie diets of around 800 calories per day can help you in losing the weight, but would also make you prone to the risk of gallstones. In the worst scenario, it might cause abdominal pain and would need surgery.
The bottom line here is to eat right and intake all daily nutrients, after all, at the end, it is your health that matters.