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Why Eating Too Little Can Stall Weight Loss

If you ask most people how they would recommend losing weight in the most basic form, they will usually answer “Eat less, exercise more”. Generally, they are right. The simplest way to lose weight is to create a calorie deficit: that is, burning more calories during the day than you are taking in from your food. However, contrary to what you might think, that deficit should not be too big. Rather than help you lose weight, extremely low calorie diets can often lead to weight loss slowing down. The question is, why?

When you dramatically reduce your calorie intake, your body reacts as if it is in danger. Your metabolism, which is the process by which food is converted to energy, actually slows down. It adjusts to the expectation that it will continue to receive too few calories, and as a result, starts to store fat for future use. Conversely, those with a fast metabolism can often eat far more than others, as their body processes this food into energy at a quicker rate.

While very low calorie diets can have an instant impact on weight loss, it is not sustainable, and even if you continue with a low calorie diet, your body will have adjusted. As a result, the rate at which you lose weight can slow down, or even stop altogether. The problem here is two-fold; not only are you no longer losing weight on a low calorie diet, but the moment you increase your calorie intake your weight will increase disproportionately, as your metabolism is still operating slower than it should be.

Quite aside from not being conducive to consistent weight loss, very low calorie diets are also bad for your general health. The effects can range from feeling lethargic and dizzy to low blood pressure and heart rhythm abnormalities. Understanding calories is an important part of weight loss, but starving your body is certainly not the way to go about it.

The mantra of “eat less, exercise more” needs to be taken sensibly. It does not mean cut your calories in half and start walking ten miles every day. It means having a balanced diet with an appropriate amount of calories received from healthy foods, while exercising a reasonable amount. Those who consistently maintain a moderate calorie deficit and lose weight at a slow but steady pace are statistically proven to be far more likely to maintain their weight loss. Starving yourself might seem like a good idea, but all you are doing is harming your chance for stable weight loss.

How to Encourage Your Spouse to Exercise More

Encouraging a spouse who is overweight to exercise or exercise more can be tricky business. If your spouse is particularly sensitive about his/her weight, then frame your encouragement around the fact that you want to spend more time together or spend time reconnecting if you two have grown apart.

Before starting any exercise program though, make sure your spouse gets a checkup to ensure if s/he is in good enough shape to begin an exercise program. If out of shape, the doctor most likely will recommend losing weight, exercising and healthy eating.

When the doctor starts talking about specific numbers in the tests and what they should be, sometimes which is enough motivation to get the person started exercising. Depending on your relationship with your spouse, your doctor’s recommendation may carry more weight than if you suggested the same thing – losing weight, exercising and eating healthy.

If cleared to exercise, and your spouse agrees to it, set up some exercise dates. Let your spouse suggest the activity; this puts the person in control instead of feeling like the activity you choose was being forced on him or her. Whatever the activity, exercise at that person’s level so s/he is not struggling to keep up with you.

Make it fun. Suggest signing up together for a yoga class or a dance class. Exercising doesn’t have to be about doing the same thing all the time, unless it is an activity both of you really enjoy. Sometimes just a walk after dinner is all that is needed. Plus it gives both of you time to talk about the day’s activities. All it takes is a 30-minute walk three times per week to start getting in shape and improving the numbers on the doctor’s tests.

Have your spouse set small goals at first. Once your spouse starts meeting those goals, reward him or her with an exercise-related gift like an exercise DVD, a set of resistance bands or a gym membership for both of you.How to Encourage Your Spouse to Exercise More

People like to be encouraged. Comment that you like to exercise with him or her at your side instead of alone. When you notice a weight loss, make a positive reinforcement remark to keep the momentum going. Never criticize or belittle your spouse. That will only make the person more defensive and unwilling to exercise with you.

Losing weight and getting healthy isn’t going to happen overnight. And it may take additional time on your part working out with your spouse, but in the end it’ll be worth it as you two grow old healthily together.