As we’ve discussed numerous times in our blogs, the calories in/calories out methodology is not an accurate way to lose body fat or weight for that matter. The amount of calories we burn in a day via activity is very rarely anything close to what we eat anyway, so if you REALLY want to make sure you’re at a deficit, you basically have to eat a few leaves of spinach and nothing more. And, we all know that’s not realistic.
However, eating that little, won’t really contribute to any kind of weight loss anyway, especially if you’re already overweight with an unhealthy amount of body fat on you. Remember, “fasting” or “caloric restriction” can work, BUT if you’re already overweight, you would want to be careful with exactly how many calories you’re taking in. If you take in too few and are essentially in a fast all day your body will raise its insulin sensitivity levels. This is the body’s way to try and be as efficient as possible. It’s basically your brain receiving a signal from the pancreas that says, “food isn’t coming in at a normal rate, we have to get better at using it.” This is actually a defense mechanism. The people who were imprisoned in concentration camps during the holocaust were actually all insulin sensitive when they were released. This means that any little stick of food you present your body with, it’s going to give as much of it as it can to the brain, then whatever little muscle tissue you might have, and finally store the rest as fat tissue. So, if you’re overweight, yes, fasting and caloric restriction can help you lose weight, BUT you better be prepared to continue eating that way for the rest of your life. The moment you begin to eat a normal amount of food again you’re going to balloon right back up. This is the main reason “crash” diets don’t work. They aren’t sustainable and they play hell with your hormones once you get off them. You begin to reintroduce super dense foods to a system that has become ultra-efficient at storing excess sugar and that is a recipe for disaster.
If you are concerned with losing body fat, the best thing you can do is take in more protein and fat and less carbohydrate. Yes, I said eat more fat. There are still a lot of things about the body that doctors and scientists don’t know, but one thing we know for sure is that when insulin is NOT present in the blood, body fat will go down. Now, yes, it is true that protein and fat will cause a release of insulin but not anywhere near the amounts or speeds at which carbohydrates will release it. Using this method instead of fasting will ensure that you don’t run the risk of becoming insulin sensitive. Now, I’m not saying you need to abstain from all carbohydrates period, but I would definitely think about adding in more meat or nuts like cashews, almonds, pecans, and walnuts into your meals. You will also feel full a lot longer as it takes the stomach much more time to digest things like protein and nuts.