This is a very frequent question I hear from people who start a diet I prepared. It is a very common belief that the body mass reduction is best on a diet called “eat half”, which is identified with the feeling of hunger and small portions of food.
Is it really like this?
No, it isn't. Reduction is not based on starvation, or any other rules like “eat half”. That's not the best way of losing weight.
Why do our bodies need building nutrients/energy/calories/food???
Our bodies act like big factories. Such places work well and are successful only if they have raw materials to use during production and functioning.
If there are steady supplies to a factory, the workers know how and when to work. They have their shifts an working time. Nobody likes to work overtime. Do you? Factory workers also don't.
What happens when the deliveries are irregular? The workers are unhappy. They never know when they have to go to work. They are sometimes awaken in the middle of the night. They are sometimes sent back home and not paid. The morale falls, there's no motivation to work in 100%.
What if raw material is a fake, it looks the same as original, but it has different properties than the real one? The workers keep on working and producing but they start to notice something is wrong. As if they were building houses of materials which can collapse any minute.
Your body is such a factory. When you eat junk food, you supply calories but you do not nourish your body. You don't provide proper amount of vitamins, minerals and macro nutrients. That's the reason why you get sick easily, or you will be ill in the future. Your body is like a house without substructure. Everything will collapse in case of stronger wind.
When you don't eat enough, or you eat irregularly, you body lacks energy to work properly. Your workers: heart, liver, kidneys and brain don't have any fuel to take energy from. First, they wait for delivery the whole day and nothing happens, then, when they want to rest, they are overwhelmed by the amount of work they are not able to do.
How much energy does a body need?
It's hard to measure such a complicated mechanism like human body, but let's assume it's possible. And that we are able to count our energy demand.
Let's take under consideration only Basal Metabolism, which is the amount of energy needed to live, breathe and lie. This is the energy that the inner organs need to work well. It does not include any additional activities (starting with standing, reading or training at the gym).
According to the Harris-Benedict equation:
For men it is:
66.47 + 13.7M + 5.0W – 6.76L
For women it is:
665.1 + (9.567*M) + (1.85*W) – (4.68*L)
M – body weight in kilograms
W – height in centimetres
L – age in years
For a women at the age of 27, height 168cm, weight 60kg, the result is 1423.56kcal.
Eating less than Basal Metabolism is not a reduction but self-destruction.
WHEN WE COUNT THE CALORIFIC CONTENT OF A DIET, WE ALSO INCLUDE THE RATIO OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.
For example, for a person who does light exercises 3 times a week, the ratio is 1.375.
Total metabolism = 1957.395 kcal
From that level we are able to set the deficit or overage of calories.
You should remember that each person is built in a different way, we suffer from various diseases and are used to different kinds of food.
Why do you think there's so much food?
If your diet was mostly based on biscuits, crisps and other snacks, you often ate something between main meals, or you ate irregularly, you shouldn't be so surprised.
When you introduce unprocessed food products, such as groats, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish or nuts to your diet, you make you meals look bigger, but also richer in nutrients. Such meals are often also less calorific (at least in case when they have the same volume as previous meals, they are usually less calorific).
Calories are not the same. The example below may be too classic, but terse.
Why do you think you are not hungry when, instead of a packet of crisps, you have a portion of lean meat on a plate?
I don't suggest eating lean low-calories meat exclusively. There should also be food products with high-density calories in our diets, such as fat, that you definitely should not throw out from your diet, if you want to stay healthy.