Eating less doesn’t work – A ‘tail’ of 3 Rats….
Whether it’s a low carb, high fat or a ketogenic lifestyle, the goal is to change how your body primarily uses fuel. Opting for a more efficient fuel source FAT instead of carbohydrates. BUT why is this important and WHY can’t we just eat less? The short answer is that eating less works in the short term, but there are long term ramifications for this lifestyle, and here’s an experiment run at the University of Geneva to prove it.
The experiment included 3 groups of rats eating the same quality food:
- Normal Group: Adult Rats eating normally
- Eat Less Group: Adult rats losing weight buy temporarily eating less
- Naturally Skinny Group: Young rats who naturally weighed about as much as the Eat Less Group after calorie restriction.
If we were to conduct this study on YOU:
- Normal group – How you currently eat.
- Eat less group – How you would eat, just after new years, following a STRICT meal plan, and feeling hungry and tired all the time.
- Naturally Skinny Group: Your younger self, 10 years ago, when you found it really easy to lose weight and keep body fat off.
The experimented lasted 25 days. The normal group, and naturally skinny group had continue to eat normally with no dietary intervention, whilst the eat less group had eaten less for 10 days, and then fed normally for 15 days. For the 10 days of calorie restriction the Eat Less group did lose weight, but who do you think weighed the most and had the highest body fat % at the end of the 25 day experiment?
The popular theory of ‘Eat Less, Train More’ would assume the normal group would weigh the most (as they ate the LARGEST amount of calories over the 25 day period). HOWEVER it was the EAT LESS group that weighed the most and had the highest percent body fat. Yes, eating less was worse then doing nothing! This effect is commonly known as ‘Yoyo dieting…’. Eating less resulted in a reduced metabolism (ever wonder why you feel more sluggish on a calorie restricted eating plan?). When a normal diet was resumed OVER a slowed down metabolism, the outcome was fat gain.
Eating less and training more DOES work in the short term, but for long term health, and happiness I’ve found that readjusting your body to a LCHF, or ketogenic template works best. This way of eating removes the biggest barrier to sustainable lifestyle change which is low energy and hunger. Your body becomes more receptive hunger signals, and your energy levels are balanced throughout the day (oh and fat loss is effortless).
Have an awesome day
Young, EA, MM Harris, TL Cantu, JJ Ghidoni, and R Crawley. “Hepatic Response to a Very-Low-Energy Diet and Refeeding in Rats.” Am J Clin Nutr 57(6) (1993): 857–62; PubMed PMID: 8503353