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Change is hard.  Before I started the RESULTS program in September, I hadn’t done a food journal since college, and I had no idea what my daily caloric intake was.  To be honest, I don’t think I want to know all the junk I was putting into my body; suffice it to say, my diet was rife with saturated fats and processed sugars.  My best guess is that I was consuming somewhere around 2700 to 3000 calories a day, and in one fell swoop I cut my diet down to 1800 calories.  Of course, a lot of the junky food was still in my diet, I was just eating less of it, and I was always a little hungry!  When I started meeting my RESULTS trainer, she took a look at my diet and set it straight.  The weight had come off quickly at first, but now even though I was exercising more, I wasn’t losing like I expected to.  The culprit was that I was eating too little!

            I had always gotten angry when people told me that weight loss was as “simple” as consuming fewer calories than you burn.  While it is true that your body will lose a pound a week if you cut out 3500 calories, it starts to get a little more complicated when you try to lose more, and faster.  Many commercial diets claim that if you take their supplements or eat nothing but cucumbers and grapefruit for two weeks that you can lose 10, even 20 pounds almost instantly.  The truth is, while such extreme weight loss can be achieved, it is always short term, and it is rarely healthy.  In fact, doctors and trainers suggest that you do not try to lose more than a pound a week unless you are under observation, and you should never consume less than 1200 calories a day.  Sometimes when you cut your calories to extreme levels, your body reverts back to its hunter-gatherer instincts.  It assumes times are tough, and it may be a while before you see another cheeseburger, so it slows your metabolism down.  This is exactly what you DON’T want to happen when you are trying to lose weight!

            My RESULTS trainer convinced me to eat around 200 more calories than previously, especially on days when I exercised, and she also encouraged me to cut some sodium out of my diet and increase the amount of fruits and veggies I was eating.  I wasn’t hungry anymore, and neither was my body.  Even though I had small plateaus of weeks where I didn’t see any loss, on average the weight fell away at two pounds a week!  So, if you’re struggling with hunger or you’re cutting calories and still not seeing weight loss, consider talking to a nutritionist to make sure you’re not sending your body into starvation mode!

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