Now that the official end to summer has passed and you're looking to get back in the swing of things you've probably started to tighten up on your diet. Or if you have not, it's at least on your to-do list.
One thing I want to warn you about is crash diets. These types of diets severely limit the amount of calories you consume each day in an attempt to drops pounds quickly. Although this system may work in the short term, it is only setting you up for failure in the very near future.
Why? The reason you will plateau quickly on this type of calorie restricted diet is because your body realizes that you have limited the amount of fuel you are feeding it every day, so it in turn decides to lower its amount of energy production. Your body is protecting itself from starvation and in turn you'll burn fewer calories per day to conserve energy. As you can see, this type of dieting is leading you directly down the yo-yo dieting path. You crash diet -> lose weight (lean muscle) -> stop dieting because your efforts stop working since you've lowered your metabolic rate -> gain all the weight back plus a little more due to your now slower metabolism. Then you try it again a few weeks or months later and the same cycle repeats.
Sound familiar? It's a delicious pattern that is all too common among dieters following old, outdated, and useless weight loss strategies that only set you up to fail. The good news is that it does not have to be that way. You can revive your metabolism and lose all the weight you've ever wanted, but you have to do it the smart way this time.
A simple formula I like to look at is to make sure that your daily caloric intake never drops below your ideal body weight x 10. For instance, if you want to weigh 148 lbs you should not be eating any less than 1,480 calories per day . That's definitely the lowest you should go so that you do not sacrifice lean muscle or drop your energy levels. Also, make sure you do not start this low either.
Now, here's what you need to do. The only true way to losing weight is permanently to turn your body into an efficient machine that burns fat while you're working out or sleep in bed. To do this you will need to incorporate a manageable and realistic exercise program, healthy and nutrient-hazardous diet plan, as well as healthy lifestyle factors to complete your well-rounded program. It does not have to be complicated in order to work, but you do need a plan. You should literally map out at least 3 workouts per week, plus long walks or being active everyday. Your nutrition also has to be on point with when and where your meals will be so that you can plan ahead of time what your options are. Lastly, you should have a system that sets you up to be a weight loss winner and not to let you down once again.
All this is very achievable and people just like you turn their luck around everyday using these principles. I wish you good luck with living a healthy lifestyle and creating your ideal body a reality!