I want to introduce you to the one of the most RIDICULOUS things I have ever read. It was brought to my attention that I need to look at the ABC Diet. As a warning, This diet is based on a pro-anorexia template.
Feel free to look it up at abc-diet.com.
This is a dangerous, ultra-low calorie diet that is designed for dramatic weight loss. Ironically, you can see at the bottom of the page, The Risk Factors.
Granted, this is a gross example of what under eating calories can do to the body, but realistically, it is all the same. If you diet in a form of just under eating calories by skipping meals, or eating two carrots, and a mini Snickers per day, these risk factors are relevant.
I have written a lot on the topic of weight loss, and tried to teach as many people as I can about the epidemic of obesity in our country. Some listen, receive the information, and make some drastic life changes to ensure they are healthier and enjoy their life to its fullest. Some, on the other hand, hear me, understand what I am saying, but are just not driven enough to take the necessary changes that it takes to lose weight. The vast majority or the patients I see, unfortunately, already know what is causing their weight issues, but try to look beyond it and dive headfirst into some whimsical fat loss miracle pill that will cure all of their weight problems and never have to change a thing with their diet or lifestyle.
The real issue is that there are so many within the weight loss industry that are just out to make a quick buck and sell as much of the newest gimmick product as they can before they close the doors and erase any traceable evidence that they even existed.
I constantly research and study biochemistry, and I fluently understand the many metabolic pathways that are involved in fat reduction, or losing healthy weight. The majority of people think that weight loss is all about CALORIES. I am sure you have read that if you eat 3500 less calories than you burn, you will lose 1 pound. This is completely untrue. Losing weight is so driven toward the scale, that the entire weight loss industry has lost sight of what is really important. How much you weight on a scale has no regard to your total health spectrum. Body fat percentage, muscle percentage, total water percentage, and your BMI are important. If you diet plan is not driven to lose FAT tissue ONLY, then you are not on the right diet.
Resting Metabolic Rate, or RMR, Basal Metabolic Rate, BMR, and Total Energy Expenditure, TEE, are the real caloric factors that you should be looking at. If you want to lose weight, you need to make sure you don’t decrease your RMR by losing muscle tissue or you will simply shut down your thyroid gland, and all of your metabolic function. The only way to increase your systemic RMR metabolism is to increase muscle mass. Eating 6 small meals a day does not increase metabolism. Not eating 3 hours before bed does not increase your metabolism. Skipping breakfast does not hurt your metabolism. What hurts your metabolism is under eating calories, not providing enough fuel for your muscles, causing muscular depletion, and shutting down your thyroid gland.
You never want to lose weight at the expense of your muscles. You do not want to do a colon flushing diuretic based diet that will just dehydrate you. You want to eat in a pattern that supplies your muscles with protein, nervous tissue with fats, and every cell in your body with carbohydrates.
This is where I could go on a thirty page discussion about how to fit your proteins, fats, carbs, to supply your body with the adequate amount of calories to fit your Total Energy Expenditure, but not exceeding it because you need to eat more than your RMR, but not more than your TEE if you want to lose weight. Blah, Blah, Blah.
STOP thinking about food as calories. Stop wondering how many Snickers Candy Bars you can fit in and stay under 1400 calories/day. Start thinking about food as fuel. The body needs a lot of fuel, it needs a large volume of food, and it really doesn’t care about calories. The body needs proteins to be broken into amino acids. The body needs carbs to be broken into glucose. The body needs fats to build hormones. The body does not care about how many calories are associated. The body needs vitamins to make each cell function. The body needs minerals to ensure muscle contractions are strong and organized. The body needs sunlight to be converted into Vitamin D.
Let me be clear. The body has no concern, governing body, or control over how many calories you eat. The body can store excess calories taken in as fat, and the body can utilize that fat tissue in a later date if you under eat calories, but this has no regard to your health or weight loss on a long term scale.
Do you want to know why the body does not prefer to run on the stored calories that you have as fat?
Do you want to know why these health risks that the ABC diet discusses are associated with under eating calories to lose weight?
Do you want to know why focusing on calories in, calories out, and no regard to nutrients or vitamins is detrimental to your health?
I say this because the body does not store the majority of micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are involved in the body’s daily metabolic functions in fat cells. There are a few fat soluble vitamins that can be stored, A, D, E, K, but in all actuality, these all act within the body more as hormones than vitamins, so they are not as relevant when discussing micronutrient intake in your diet. The water soluble vitamins, B-Complex, are utilized in every cell, in every muscle and are NOT stored in fat tissue. SO when you go days without eating the proper amounts of fuel, or food, your body will be running on the stored calories from your fat, but it will be depleted of the vitamins that are not able to be stored within the body. This means that the body does not govern the use of these vitamins, it does not ration them. It uses them as it gets them. So, the more you feed it, the more you will use, and this means the more calories your body will be able to utilize.So why do the ABC Diet risk factors happen?
As I stated in this blog, calories in/calories out is not the holy grail of weight loss. There is much more to the epidemic of obesity.
But I can assure you that the risk factor of Depression is linked to a deficiency in B-Vitamins.
Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiency
Symptoms of Neuropsychiatric Disorders
So, before you go on a crash diet, or start skipping meals to “lose weight” be sure you consult a physician that can help you get on a safe and healthy diet plan.
Eat Well. Feel Well. Be Well.