On any given weekday, Orriant Health Coaches share expert advice and health education with hundreds of wellness participants across the nation. Often coaches turn to each other for help with tackling crucial health issues or alarming trends. The following dialogue is a snapshot of a recent coach forum.
Topic of Discussion: Addressing the dangers of very low calorie intake with individuals who are seeing success in losing weight this way.
*Please note that identifying information is kept strictly confidential.
Health Coach Auston H. says:
Another area to consider is a concept called "Metabolic Damage” by Dr. Layne Norton. Let’s assume that an individual consumes 2,300 calories per day and his body burns 2,000 of those calories very consistently. What happens when that individual drops to 1,200 calories per day? Will the body continue to burn 2,000 calories and take the deficit from fat stores? For a time yes, but a linear rate of calorie burning like that would eventually kill the person. Rather, the body will slow down the amount of calories that it burns to be more in line with intake—such a wonderful survival mechanism, but not great for fat loss.
Dr. Norton’s recommendation is simply to reduce calories by a few hundred per day, and also to increase exercise and develop muscle. When individuals hit a plateau in this format, they have a lot more wiggle room with calorie intake to adjust for additional weight loss. I also like to educate individuals that you need to give fuel to your body while you work. It doesn't make sense to work on an empty tank and then fill up during your rest phase (dinner time). Try driving your car on an empty tank, and then fill it up when you get home—let me know how that works out for you.
Health Coach Nate L. says:
I would also add a thought on the development of our culture as a people. We often do not understand that the way we should eat is different from how humans ate twenty years ago. It is no longer three square, sit-down meals a day. It’s actually more like
six to eight light, on-the-go meals that might fit with a faster paced lifestyle better than what used to work.