Why Cutting Calories Creates Long-term Chaos

Are you cutting calories to lose weight?

A recent groundbreaking study, authored by 17 experts in the field, was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition called, “The Carbohydrate-insulin Model: a Physiological Perspective on the Obesity Pandemic.”

This study highlights these important areas:

  • An excess of calories doesn’t cause fat storage.
  • Caloric restriction often decreases metabolic rate and increases hunger.
  • What the energy source is made up of makes a difference in how the body digests and utilizes it,
  • Processed, easily digestible carbohydrates signal a cascade of hormonal and metabolic shifts that lead to fat storage and HUNGER.

The Energy Balance model has always stated that when you consume more calories (energy) than what you expend, you will store fat. What we are learning (and seeing in real time) is that it isn’t so much the calorie quantity as it is the quality. WHAT you consume will cause metabolic changes in the body, because not all calories are alike. A chronic restriction of calories alone can cause your basal metabolic rate to decrease, while driving the body weight “set point” up.

Restricting calories and consuming a lot of foods with a high glycemic load causes your body to absorb glucose quickly while also decreasing metabolic fuel concentration so soon afterward that your brain then believes it is depleted of energy sources (called “cellular semistarvation”) and will soon elicit hunger and cravings, so that the cycle keeps perpetuating. Whew! This requires a lot of work on your body’s part!

I don’t share this to stress anyone out. If you’ve been reading my blog or listening to my podcast, I don’t do the diet thing. But I do want to encourage people to partner with their bodies in order to find a place of healing and wholeness. The best way to lighten the stress load from a nutritional standpoint is to focus on whole food sources that are fiber-rich and help assist the glucose response.

When we load up on nutrients from brain-boosting fats, vegetables, maybe some legumes and grains, and high-quality animal protein, our bodies and brains find recognizable sources of fuel. They work how they were designed to.

How do we incorporate this in real life, during the holidays? We know food is medicine and food is fuel. But food is also pleasure, enjoyment, comfort, and the thing that brings people together! Life brings us all sorts of seasons of fun and feasting, while also presenting times for slowdown and healing. As we enter November, leading up to my favorite feasting holiday, I encourage you to support your body by continuing to add in nutrient-dense sources of whole foods.

When we choose to partner with our bodies for nourishment – not for restriction and punishment, that’s when we find our bodies working into the natural rhythms of our lives, without obsession or complicated math equations.

I believe we are all fearfully and wonderfully designed, and we don’t have to live enslaved to complicated food rules or equations.

Just real food for real life.

This is why I love my Feast 2 Fast program, starting a new round November 1. We get back to the health basics: putting our focus on our primary nutrition first (God), increasing nutrient density through whole food sources, and leaving lots of room for enjoyment and celebration!

We talk a lot about blood sugar regulation and using both carbs and fats as brain fuel sources.No calorie-counting, no complicated math equations. Just food that nourishes mind, body, and soul! This Thanksgiving round is my fave because there is so much to be grateful for!

We start in less than a week. If you’re ready to partner with your body and learn to enjoy food, I’d love for you to join this four week group coaching program. Sign up here.

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