Although you cannot change your genetic makeup, you do have some manner of control over energy intake and expenditure. Many people get hung up on trying to achieve the perfect combination of carbohydrate, fat, and protein and neglect the basic tenet of calorie balance. In a comprehensive review of literature, however, researchers concluded that energy restriction (lowering calorie intake) was the only variable that correlated with weight loss (J Am Diet Assoc. 2001; 101:411–420).
It seems so straightforward on paper, doesn’t it? In reality, things may not be so simple. In other studies in which subjects voluntarily consume far more calories than they would under normal conditions, they do gain weight but not nearly as much as the numbers indicate. In other words, their bodies adjust to the higher calorie intake and begin burning calories like it’s going out of style!
In much the same way, when people restrict calories to a level dramatically lower than usual (as they commonly do when trying to lose weight), their bodies adjust by burning calories more slowly. Do they lose weight?