All work and no play means fat staysEven though I was eating far less food than I had been before starting my low carb diet, my body had adjusted to getting by on those fewer calories.
By: By Wina Sturgeon, Adventure Sports Weekly
Oh, no, another setback! I was sticking to my low carb diet, but wasn’t losing an ounce or an inch. What could possibly be wrong?
The answer to what had happened over the holidays taught me another hard lesson about fat loss. Learn from my experience so that you won’t have to waste your diet time not accomplishing your goal. Here’s the lesson:
During the holidays, I had gotten into a physical funk, spending my time working at the computer and sewing presents; both of which involve long periods of sitting. Sitting robs you of energy. I let one workout slip by, so it was easier to skip the next workout, then the next. Suddenly, I wasn’t going to the gym at all. I wasn’t even using the dumbbells kept beside my desk. Plus, it was too cold outside to take the dog for a long walk, so that stopped too. That meant I was just sitting around, not doing much of anything physical.
So the slow-but-constant fat lost stopped. The reason was that same old bugaboo: adjustment. Once your body adjusts to anything, it stops changing. It will adjust to the same old resistance routine and stop building muscle. It will adjust to a lower amount of food, or a low carb diet, and stop shedding fat. That’s what had happened to me.
Even though I was eating far less food than I had been before starting my low carb diet, my body had adjusted to getting by on those fewer calories. But once I stopped doing anything physical, I wasn’t burning the same amount of calories, yet I was eating the same amount. So it was back to the cold equation of food, which is: burn more calories than you take in and you will lose fat. Take in more calories than you use, and you will gain fat. Obviously, I was eating just enough to have the fat stay in place.
That left another cold equation — and a cold equation is a fact so solid, there is no way of getting around it. This solid fact was; if I wanted to continue to lose fat, I could start eating even less — or I could go back to exercising. But eating very little food can mess with your mental clarity; and that could put my work in jeopardy. So the only real choice was to return to my exercise routine. Mentally grumbling, because my body had adjusted to not using energy, I went back to the gym and stopped using the temperature as an excuse not to walk with my dog.
It didn’t work right away. My jeans didn’t get any looser. It was almost as if my metabolism wanted to make sure I was really serious before it adjusted once more to losing fat. But within two weeks, the gradual emerging of my waistline began again.
Now, even when I really, really don’t feel like it, I force myself to work out. I know that my body will soon readjust to it, and exercising will stop being such a pain.
This is one lesson I intend never to have to learn again.