Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | January 19, 2009

The 10 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes #4 – Starving Yourself

    If you have ever gone on a diet, you almost certainly have made this mistake.  Most diets dramatically change your eating habits resulting in a significant reduction in caloric intake.  If you are trying to lose weight, that would seem to make sense.  However, the problem is that in order to lose weight, you need to eat significant amounts of food.  Starving yourself ultimately leads to weight gain for 2 reasons.  First, as I have discussed in my 3 previous “Weight Loss Mistakes” articles (Going on a Diet, Trying to Lose Weight Too Quickly and Trying to Lose Weight WITHOUT Exercise), starving yourself will lead to significant muscle mass loss which in turn, leads to decreased metabolism.  It’s a vicious cycle that facilitates long term weight gain because your body no longer burns the calories it used to.  Keep in mind that this can happen with any caloric reduction but it is especially problematic when calorie intake is severely restricted. 

The second problem with starving yourself is also related to reduced metabolism.  When you cut too many calories, especially from protein, it prompts your body to conserve calories instead of burning them.  Your body accomplishes this by reducing your metabolism (whether you have lost muscle mass or not).  This is why long term weight loss works best by employing slight reductions in caloric intake along with increased physical activity.

NEXT POST – January 22, 2009

The 10 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes # 5 – Making Big Changes in Your Eating Habits


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