To guarantee a lifetime of weight-control success, you have to change the
type of foods you eat, so that you ingest less fat and still get the vitamins,
minerals, trace elements, protein, fat and carbohydrates your body needs
Extremely low-calorie diets may help you shed pounds quickly, but they’ll
lead to failure in the long run.
That’s because humans are genetically protected against starvation.
During food shortages, our bodies slow down our metabolisms and burn
less energy so we can stay alive.
A part of our brain called the hypothalamus keeps us on an even weight
keep by creating a “set point.” That’s the weight where we feel
comfortable. The hypothalamus determines this point based on the level
of consumption it’s used to. It seeks to keep our weight constant, even if
that point is over what it should be.
When we drastically cut back our food intake, the brain thinks the body
is starving, and in an effort to preserve life, it slows the metabolism. Soon
the pounds stop coming off. Consequently, we grow hungry and
uncomfortable and then eat more. And then the diet fails.
How can you compensate for this metabolic slow-down? The answer is
that you have to change the nutritional composition of the foods you eat.
You will have to cut down on total calories – that’s absolutely basic to
weight loss. More important, however, is reducing the percentage of total
calories you are getting from fat.
That’s how you’ll avoid starvation panic in your system. At the same
time, you reduce the amount of fat in your food, replacing it with safe,
low calorie, nutrient-rich plant foods. This will convince your brain that
your body is getting all the nutrition it needs.
In fact, you’ll be able to eat more food and feel more satisfied while
consuming fewer calories and fats.
Plant foods break down slowly in your stomach, making you feel full
longer, and they are rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements,
carbohydrates and protein for energy and muscle-building. This allows
your body to burn off its excess stored fat.