“Weight loss is simply calories in versus calories out.” – Fit gurus on IG
“Nah, it ain’t that easy.” – Me
I’m on Instagram daily telling you to eat. Don’t show up to your workout on an empty belly. Don’t leave your workout and snack on ice cubes. Don’t go to bed hungry. Eat. Eat. Eat.
And some of you are like, “But I’m trying to lose weight! So I need to cut back on the foods, duh.”
Which makes sense in theory. To lose weight you need to burn more energy (calories) than you consume. But the truth isn’t that simple. It’s possible to eat less and not lose weight and equally possible to eat more and actually lose weight.
Undereating is one way to set your body goals back and end up destroying your metabolism. And the worst part? You won’t always lose the weight. You’ll just be hungry. Here’s why.
Your body is smart, it knows exactly how much energy it needs to function optimally. When you don’t feed it enough, it starts freaking out and storing energy for later. This is known as starvation mode.
When in starvation mode, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy. And we all know that a healthy metabolism is key to both weight loss/fat loss and muscle gain.
The solution? Eat enough of the right foods and slowly increase your calorie intake to meet the demands of your workouts. Often, eating more food will result in a better workout, which means more muscle fibers built and a faster metabolism. BOOM. Go eat.
Starvation mode causes the hormone leptin to decrease—making you feel hungrier than ever and increasing your cravings. This is why after a few days of calorie-cutting you might find yourself in your kitchen shoveling handfuls of cereal down your throat.
Instead of continuing the cycle of diet—binge—diet—repeat, find a nutrition plan that works for your individual metabolism and personal goals. My suggestion? Eat whole foods. Drink plenty of water. Focus on complex carbs and whole proteins. And listen to your hunger cues—if your body is screaming, “Hey, we need more food!” then feed it (within reason). And don’t sleep on cereal.
Like I mentioned before, everyone’s body has a natural set point (the energy needed to sustain optimal functioning). When you continuously cut back on calories, you’re forcing your body to create a new set point.
Think of it this way: Let’s say you start out with a natural set point of 2,500 calories. You want to lose weight so you reduce to 2,000. After a few months you plateau so you reduce again to 1,500. This time, you’re not losing any weight and your body won’t budge. Why?
Because your body moved with you and created a new (higher) set point that ultimately would take true starvation to reach. It’s clinging to your weight and burning muscle mass for energy—setting you back on all fronts.
The cool this is that set points work both ways. Meaning reverse dieting is a real thing! You can eat more and lose fat, it’s magic.
How To Get Your Body Back On Track
Science says eating less and exercising more will result in weight loss, which is true to a point. But instead of focusing on calories and dieting, focus on these:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “You need to eat.” It’s as simple as that. Whether your goal is fat loss or muscle gain, give your body what it wants (all the foods).
If you're ready to see real results that let you eat good, hit me up. Let's make it happen.