Why eating low calorie long term doesn’t work

Eat less, exercise more gets you in shape right? Not always! Jay Geraghty from The Physique Geek looks at why we might be doing it all wrong…

Why eating low calorie long term doesn't work

You will have heard it time and time again, oh you just need to eat less or you need to exercise more.

For me, the two go hand in hand, but what’s more important is that more often than not, people go to low-calorie, overdo the exercise and seem to get nowhere fast.

I created my 90-Day SMT program to inspire and educate as many people as I can on nutrition, and fuelling their body with the right foods to get them lean, healthy and strong without going hungry. I’m on a mission to save as many people as possible from struggling with low calorie, crash diets that don’t work, instead providing them with a sustainable, tailored program to transform their lives forever and show them that eating low-calorie is not the answer to their weight-loss goals.

The problem with low-calorie diets

I have worked with so many people that have tried low-calorie diets, initially they’ve worked for them, but then all of a sudden the weight loss stops so they reduce calories again.

This sounds like the right thing to do doesn’t it? However, a few weeks later weight loss grinds to a halt again and you’re left feeling constantly tired, hungry, not sleeping and having no motivation to continue, so you give up and weight goes back on.

The problem with low-calorie is, the more you reduce your calories, the lower the chances are of you sticking to the diet long term. Why? Because they’re no fun. If you do actually manage to adhere to them, you’re highly likely to trigger a rebound effect, where you’ll gain all of the weight back, plus some.

Not to mention other problems with these fad diets, such as:

Loss of muscle mass

When you’re eating low-calorie, your body doesn’t have enough energy to survive, so it starts drawing energy from your muscles.


In order to be healthy, you need a balance of foods from different food groups. Low-calorie diets make it very difficult to get good nutrition and for you to feel satisfied.


When the body experiences a calorie deficit, it then starts to break down fat for energy. The liver conceals more cholesterol and when merged with bile, can form gallstones.

Why eating low calorie long term doesn't work

Decreased leptin levels

Leptin is a hormone that helps signal to your brain when you’re feeling full or hungry. Low levels of leptin send the ‘I’m hungry’ signal. Good luck trying not to binge eat when
this happens!

The world we live in today has everybody scared to eat, or pushing them in the direction of these ridiculous fad diets which have them watching their calories like a hawk, telling them carbs are bad, then oh carbs are good, fat is great, fat is bad – what fat should I eat? There is so much conflicting information out there, it’s no wonder people get disheartened when their progress stalls and they don’t know where to turn.

Your basal metaolic rate

To explain it as clearly as I can, your body needs a certain amount of calories per day just to function correctly. This is known as your BMR (basal metabolic rate). Your BMR is the amount of calories your body needs daily to maintain your current shape and ensure your body and its organs function correctly. It then needs additional calories to compensate for your activity level each day as well as your physical activity, whether that be in the gym, playing sports, walking for the bus etc. Eating below this level will only lead to the above points happening time and time again.

Our bodies are built to survive, so when eating below what our body actually needs, our bodies see this as a threat, and literally clings onto our usable energy sources (body fat).

Why eating low calorie long term doesn't work

So what does work?

To sum up, eat more to lose more. Your fat loss program should always be tailored to you in every way possible. It should be built for sustainability, it should never have you restricting foods you like and it should be something you see as a lifestyle not a diet. Anything other than that will set you up to fail.

There is no magic diet out there that someone is hiding, or a magic food that will change your physique. The best fat loss program available out there is the one that is built and tailored exactly to you. There is nothing generic about you, so why use a generic program. This is exactly why I created the SMT program.

What is the SMT Program?

On the SMT Program, not only is every single meal tailored to exactly what your body needs to lose body fat, the times you choose to eat is your choice – timing doesn’t matter. The days you choose to workout, again, are up to you – you choose when works best for you!

“It’s not about giving you a routine, you create your own.”

5 tips to weight loss

  1. Focus on what you eat, rather than how much. Eating more of the right foods will help you lose weight in an enjoyable and sustainable way.
  2. Do not avoid fat – it’s good.
  3. Eat foods high in protein and fat – they stimulate hormones to help keep you full.
  4. Don’t expect too much, too soon. The most sustainable weight loss plans take time.
  5. Find a plan that’s right for you. Programs that are tailored to your individual goals and tastes are the easiest to stick to, provide you with life-long results and are really enjoyable.

About the author

The Physique GeekJay Geraghty of The Physique Geek is an online nutrition coach and the creator of the 90-day SMT program. He creates tailored fat loss programs, which take into account intolerances, allergies and food preferences to transform the bodies and lives of his clients forever, without changing their normal routines.

Jay has created his program to help cut through the fad-diet noise and to give his clients the delicious, easy to prepare meals, tools and expert advice they need to start improving their health and transform into the best shape of their life. www.thephysiquegeek.com