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  • Dr Nicola Lowth

Do I need to restrict my calorie intake?

This is a question I am asked every day.

We live in a completely diet obsessed culture where for years calorie restriction has been viewed as the only way of controlling weight and reaching that point of ‘ideal thinness.’ The old ‘eat less, move more’ paradigm that we have no doubt all encountered one way or another. On top of this, we also live in an environment that is overloaded with highly palatable, poorly nutritious foods which drive our bodies to want more.

This is a challenging situation and what the multibillion-dollar weight loss industry thrives off.

My response to this question most of the time is “how would you feel about instead focusing on something different?” “Nourishing your body instead of depleting it”

My experience of testing thousands of people’s metabolisms has led me to the following conclusions:

  1. Long term calorie restriction leads to a dysfunctional metabolism. In many cases metabolic rate can slow as an adaptation to poor nutrition. In the short to medium term it can lead to a metabolism that runs off glucose rather than fat. In this state the body craves sugar and highly processed carbohydrates.

  2. If you starve your body of nutrition you will no doubt lose weight however often, there is a high proportion of muscle wasting which is challenging to regain.

  3. It is common for clients to feel guilty and ashamed that they have not been able to stick to a certain ‘diet plan.’ In some cases, this can lead to periods of binge eating which can then develop into cycles of binging and restricting.

  4. Focusing on nourishing the body with decent quality protein and healthy fats throughout the day has far better outcomes for metabolic health. Clients often report feeling like their energy and moods are more stabilised with no more mid-afternoon energy crashes, no longer experiencing intense cravings for sugar as well as a feeling of being able to trust their body.

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