Why Does Eating More Calories Throughout The Day Result In Greater Weight Loss Than Fewer Lower-Calorie Meals?

Filed under: Low-carb Tips — @ April 6, 2006

Support for sound metabolic science in 2006 is in short supply, but I am hopeful about our future thanks to a Binghamton University Ph.D. student named Lina Begdache.

She was asked to provide an expert opinion to a student’s question about why some people who eat more calories over lots of smaller meals throughout the day seem to lose weight while people who eat less calories over just a few meals in a day seem to gain weight.

This cuts to the heart of how and why low-carb works.

Here was soon-to-be Dr. Begdache’s response:

bq. When people go on a calorie-restricted diet, the body feels that the nutrients are scarce and it assumes a ‘starvation’ response. It shifts its efficient state of energy production to a super-efficient energy-conservation state. Although people might experience weight loss in the first couple of days, it is no more than water lost from broken-down glycogen. After few days, the dieter, out of shape and energy, resumes eating (and mostly overeats), with the body’s energy-conservation ability at its maximum. The dieter ends up regaining the lost pounds plus some more because of the reduced metabolic rate. If the extra pounds are not lost within days, the body shifts to a new set point – the higher body weight – and the metabolic rate is adjusted accordingly. This is the basis of the yo-yo dieting and this explains why people who diet often end up in the long run gaining weight rather than losing it.

Can you believe it?! We actually have a student articulating some of the basic principles that low-carbers live by and passes them off as mainstream. This is exciting news for anyone who supports the low-carb nutritional approach.

bq. Holy mackeral, give that Ph.D. student a Nobel Prize for such a brilliant, slam-dunk analysis of why low-fat, low-calorie diets fail so many of the people who try them! She is dead-on regarding what they do to the body when you cut back on calories and why that way of eating is very dangerous. Plus, when people get frustrated and try themselves crazy with hunger by these diets, they not only gain back the nominal weight they may have lost while cutting back on their calories, but they also have a net GAIN in their weight because their metabolism gets shot to you know where. Yikes! Now there’s a good reason to avoid calorie restriction!

Read more of Begdache’s intriguing response to this student’s question by clicking here.


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