Your body wants you to chill the eff out and start eating normally again.
We have been told that that's how it works: calories in vs calories out. “Eat less than you expend and you'll lose weight.”
When in reality, this is what it should really say:
“Eat less than you expend and you'll lose weight... at first. Then you'll gain it all back and think it's your fault — but this actually happens because your body will compensate your metabolism in order to keep your weight stable around the same place. Biologically, that's how we have survived as a species during all those years when food wasn't as easy to come by consistently.”
I understand that it's a mind trip. The first few times you dieted, I bet you lost weight easily. Then when you gained it back you were sure it was your fault.
But it wasn't. Your body insisted that would happen. And it even wants you to go a bit above where you started, just for good measure.
But now you're convinced that if you can just do it like you did the first time, you'll lose weight again — but THIS time you'll keep it off. This time you'll do it right. This time you'll succeed and be beautiful and happy foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr.
But it's harder to do now because your body isn't having any of this shit. You've already pressed your luck, and now your body is fighting back harder.
And even if you do happen to override your body's strong efforts to make you eat and keep on weight, and even if you actually do lose weight again, your body will immediately lower your metabolism and make you expend less in order to eventually bring your weight back up. It will also wire you to crave more food than you ever would have wanted under normal eating and metabolic conditions.
It should be noted that increasing exercise will have the same effect: Your body will encourage rest to make up for your exertion. And if you force more exertion, it'll just slow down your system altogether.
So, for any of you who think that weight is just a matter of decreasing your consumption, and are confused as to why it's not working anymore... It's just because your body wants you to chill the eff out and start eating normally again. It also wants you to put on weight.
You know why? In this context especially, weight is actually healthy. (GASP!)
Letting yourself gain weight actually is the only way to heal your metabolism.
And paradoxically, once you stop trying to control your intake and let yourself eat whatever your body wants (even if that's a LOT) it'll heal. It'll speed up to normal. It'll trust that there is food.
And that is the surest way to have a healthy, stable weight for you.
Bring on the calories!