With the holidays coming up, many people tend to put their fitness goals on hold and embrace the inevitable extra pounds. I mean, hey, that’s why the holidays are lined up that way, right? New Years comes right the immense amount of holiday food so that all the fitness resolutions can begin. But before you start to plan a diet that drastically cuts calories, check this out.
According to research found in the medical journal Biological Psychiatry, a low calorie diet actually has a negative affect on our health and cutting a drastic amount of calories has a high long-term failure rate for losing weight and keeping it off. This is because a decrease in calories is linked to an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol basically signals the body that it is in a state of stress, and the body’s reaction to this is to cling on to whatever source of energy, or the food you take in, that it can get. Low calorie dieting also negatively affects our thyroid gland, which is responsible for your metabolism. I don’t know about you, but I find the mere thought of counting calories every meal of every day to be extremely stressful… and science agrees. High levels of cortisol levels can lead to weight gain, a resistance to insulin, and cardiovascular disease.
So what does this all mean? This is a situation where quality over quantity prevails. Fewer calories isn’t necessarily the best move for you, your metabolism, or any fat loss goals you may have. Instead of depriving your body of the calories it needs to, you know, work… focus on eating foods of high quality and nutrients instead of empty calories. Your body will literally be less stressed!