No need to starve yourself to lose weight. In fact, you will have more difficulty losing weight and keeping it off by not eating. The reason is that your body will go into survival mode and actually store fat if there is a lack of food. As well, your body will start turning muscle protein into the energy it needs to feed your brain, nervous system and red blood cells. The best way to lose weight is to tone your body and build muscle. According to Nancy Bennett, M.S., R.D., “Muscle tissue burns 70% of the fat in your body; so losing muscle sacrifices your ability to burn body fat.”
If you go on a crash diet and starve yourself, you will feel fatigued and you will not have the energy to build muscle. Again, a lack of eating will lead to less muscle and more stored body fat. Nancy Bennet goes on to say,” Aerobic exercise rebuilds your muscle and teaches it to burn more fat. Eating right gives you the nutrients you need to make that muscle.” Essentially you need to eat to lose weight.
Depending on your goals and current level of fitness, there is a general rule of thumb for the amount of nutritional energy your body requires. If you want to maintain your current weight, simply multiply your weight by 15 and this will give you the number of calories needed. If you want to lose weight, multiply your weight by 10, so if you weigh 130 pounds your minimal energy requirement is 1300 calories. Then you need to factor in your minimum energy requirements for activity. If you are an active person you, someone who exercises 3 hours or more per week, you need to multiply your energy requirement by 1.5. If you are less active, someone who exercises 1 to 3 hours per week, you need to multiply your minimum energy requirement by 1.2. This will give you the amount needed to sustain your level of activity without losing muscle.
Now, its important to realize that if you want to burn fat you currently have, you don’t want to eat more of it. The fat in your diet is either burned by your muscle or it is stored in your fact cells. So you want to eat less fat and burn the fat in your body. To eat less fat, multiply your energy requirement by 0.3 and divide by nine. This will give you your maximum fat intake.
To lose weight effectively, it is suggested that you eat 6 small meals throughout the day, and get at least 20 minutes of exercise. Make healthier choices when eating – but do eat! The secret is feeding the muscles and building muscle tone to burn the fat.