Dieting always seems like a super great idea – especially when you get amped up and fall in love with a new diet plan that promises you the figure of a Greek goddess.

Here’s the thing – any diet that fails to supply your body with the right nutrients at the right times will cause you to lose weight. But at what price?

Severe Restrictions, Severe Backlash

The severity of the restrictions we put on our dietary needs is the exact severity in which our bodies and minds will fight us back. You should never deprive your body of any vital nutrient.

Our bodies are smarter than you think and often try to tell us when they aren’t happy. This often shows up in the form of binges – which can reek havoc on our physical, mental and emotional state. If you’re on a diet and experience a binge, you will more than likely have feelings of shame. I see a lot of people that end up thinking of themselves as a failure because of the binges.

When we ignore what our body is telling us, we set ourselves up for weight rebounds, a distorted relationship with food, and a negative body image.

Instant Weight Gain

If you go on some crazy low calorie diet, it’s true that initially you will lose weight. However, the second your body realizes what is happening it will feel threatened and begin to slow to an all-mighty halt. You will go into survival mode, and your body will save every ounce of fat.

When this stall happens, people often drop their calorie intake even further or increase their cardio. I hate to be the one to tell you this – but that doesn’t work.

Its tempting to think if you just drop another 300 calories a day or throw in a handful more cardio sessions, your body will drop weight. But that’s not how it happens. Our bodies are SO SMART. They need to be fed the right amount of proteins, carbs, and fats so they can function optimally.

How To: Healthy Weight Loss

So how do we achieve healthy weight loss? First things first – You feed yourself! You fuel your body with the right amount of proteins, carbs, and fats. To start, you’ll want to establish a baseline, otherwise known as your maintenance calories.

Maintenance calories are the maximum amount of calories you can eat without losing or gaining any weight. After you’ve found this number, you will slowly start to drop your calories by no more than 10-25%. As I mentioned before, your body will eventually catch up and stall on weight loss. When you notice this, you’ll want to start a re-feed.

During a re-feed, you’ll bump yourself back up to your maintenance calorie level. This will be the hardest part – because it’s against the dieting mindset. Re-feeds will help your hormones to function normally again. After a few days, you’ll be able to begin cutting your calories once more and resume your weight loss.