There have been quite few shows on TV recently and you may have seen the one with this title.
Now an 800 calories a day diet has been widely used in research for very overweight people as well as in the treatment of diabetes.
Calories in over time will determine bodyweight.
It is the simple law of thermodynamics – energy in versus energy out.
For most, if not all, people, 800 calories a day will create a calorie deficit.
A very large deficit for very large people!
If you want to quickly work out roughly how many calories you need, you can use the following equation;
For a female, multiply your bodyweight in kilos by 22, for a guy, multiply it by 24.
Then if you are sedentary, multiply that number by 1.1.
You can add more numbers depending on your activity levels.
I am moderately active and workout regularly so I would probably use 1.6.
Performing this simple equation will show you that 800 calories a day is a big deficit.
Big deficits produce fast results.
This is fine, provided the big deficit is followed up with a good program of support and education.
The problem is that you can not live forever on 800 calories a day.
At some point you will need to return to eating at a maintenance level.
If you have lost 5kg or even 20kg, your maintenance calories will be higher than your diet calories.
You are not supposed to be on a diet for the rest of your life.
This is where the diet industry falls down.
It is teaching people how to lose weight not how to maintain a stable weight.
This is why people rebound back to their favourite diet group or program over and over.
When you are watching these TV shows, remember to ask the question;
‘What happens after the diet is finished?’
- You will need to start eating more food.
- Don’t panic if your weight creeps up a little.
- You will gain a little water weight and a little more ‘food in the system’ weight.
- Add a little food and monitor your average weight.
- Adjust your food intake over a period of several weeks/months, until you learn your maintenance amount.
- Keep a good balance of mainly lower calorie, higher nutrient foods, with a little of the higher calorie, lower nutrient foods thrown in.
Remember, you do not have to be on a diet or in a slimming group forever but you do need to be aware of calories forever.