Part 2 of Binge Trap #1—The Low-Calorie Belief Trap

★ Are you still thinking, if I just stick to my diet, I can lose the weight?★

I stopped going on low-calorie diets when I learned a valuable piece of information that explained many of my binges. I hope you find it valuable too.

Read on if you’d like to learn why at times it feels like an alien is controlling you and making you binge.

The Story Of The Woman Who Had To Lie In Bed (And Thought She Could Lose Some Pounds)

One morning, Mary Smith woke up, got out of bed and collapsed on the floor when intense pain rippled across her lower back.

“Must be those salsa dancing lessons,” she muttered in agony. “How am I going to lose those twenty pounds if I have to give up exercising?”

Fortunately, her purse was right by her head on the floor. She reached into it and grabbed some painkillers. She downed the painkillers and ten minutes later crawled to the phone and called her doctor. The receptionist fit her in for a 9:30 a.m. appointment.

“You’ve torn some muscles,” said the doctor. “Here’s a prescription for some muscle relaxants. And you must rest in bed for at least twenty-four hours.”

Mary was ecstatic. Maybe she’d lose a couple of pounds by not eating. After all, she thought, if I’m just lying in bed, I don’t need to eat.

She was home in bed by 10:30 a.m. Her plan? Don’t eat anything until the next morning. She got lost in reading a romance novel for the rest of the day.

By dinner time, Mary was getting strong hunger pangs which she couldn’t understand. It must be emotional food cravings. I just want to comfort myself because of my sore back.

The cravings grew stronger as the night wore on. Just before midnight, Mary ordered a large deep-dish pizza loaded with bacon, sausage, and pepperoni. She ate the whole thing.

The thing is Mary didn’t know about her Resting Metabolic Rate. (RMR)

Even without moving, your heart is still beating, your lungs are still breathing, and your brain is still firing off thoughts. All your metabolic processes—your internal organs, all the stuff your body does—are still working.

And they all need fuel—calories—to keep them going.

The number of calories needed to run your internal system is called your Resting Metabolic Rate. Everyone’s RMR is different, depending on a few factors (age, height, gender, health).

Even when you sleep, your body is burning calories. (This is why you can eat a bedtime snack, hours after dinner and not gain weight.)

Here’s an eye-opener:

Two-thirds of the DAILY calories your body needs are to supply energy for the metabolic processes. In other words, two-thirds of the calories your body NEEDS is for running all the internal stuff you’re not consciously aware of.

Mary weighs 170 pounds woman and wants to lose 20 pounds because she feels physically comfortable at 150 pounds. So, Mary needs 1,475 calories just to feed her internal organs.

(The number of calories your internal organs need is based on your physically comfortable weight because it considers factors like bone structure and height. Some women want to get to a model thin weight, but it’s often unattainable, or if they attain it, they can’t maintain it, because it’s much lower than their physically comfortable weight.)

★★★ Because Mary didn’t eat, her body was in a major calorie deficit and it triggered powerful PHYSICAL food cravings. ★★★

(There might’ve been some emotional food craving going on, but we’ll never know because first and foremost, she didn’t take care of her physical food cravings. It’s almost impossible to determine if you have emotional food cravings when you diet because most times you’re not getting enough calories. And when you don’t get enough calories, you’ll get hit with physical food cravings.)

This bears repeating. Mary needs 1,475 calories just to feed her internal organs even when she’s lying in bed for twenty-four hours. (The RMR for an average woman’s physically comfortable weight of 150 pounds is 1,475.)

Just to be clear. The RMR is just the number of calories needed to feed your internal organs. It does not include the calories needed for all your activity. On average the RMR is about 2/3 of the calories you need, and the rest of the calories needed by your body can vary depending on your activity level.

No wonder we get powerful food cravings when we go on a low-calorie diet that doesn’t have enough calories to feed our internal system and all our activity. No wonder it feels like some alien is controlling us. It’s not an alien. It’s our body telling us to eat.

Your body is built to send you strong physical food cravings. This is a good thing. We need food to survive. Imagine if we didn’t have a hunger mechanism. We’d waste away and die.

Fasting or going on a low-calorie diet doesn’t work. Because the little amount of weight lost on a low-calorie diet is offset by the food consumed during the after-binge.

Remember, it isn’t what you eat that causes the weight gain, it’s how much you eat. Even if you eat too much super healthy food, some of it will be stored as fat.

Once I learned about RMR, I never went on a low-calorie diet again. Going on a diet is the best way to fast track you into the diet-crave-binge cycle.

If you’re interested in knowing what your Resting Metabolic Rate is, shoot me an email at and I’ll email you back a chart with the RMR’s for a long list of weights.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of  Binge Trap # 1–The Low-Calorie Belief trap in my next post on why most women can’t stay on a diet for more than three weeks.

Here’s to avoiding all the binge traps!

Irene Jorgensen

P.S. If you’re struggling to lose weight, there are 3 distinct types of cravings that cause bingeing. I write about these types of cravings and how to avoid them in my book The 3 Secrets To Diet-Free Weight Loss (It’s Not What You Think). I invite you to go to my website and download the first chapter (it’s actually the first 3 chapters) for FREE!

Published on February 11, 2018

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