With all of the studies completed which have shown not eating enough will slow your body eventually into a “starvation mode” people are still continuing to eat less in order to lose weight. Choosing to eat less is not going to get you to your weight loss goal.
It may temporarily make you lose weight, but as soon as you get back into your regular eating pattern you will gain the weight back and maybe even a few extra pounds. Repeating this process is known as yo-yo dieting. This is the most common problem that people encounter and is exactly why many people become frustrated with weight loss and eventually give up.
Why eating adequately is important
Everyday your body will burn calories based on your bodily functions – your heart pumping blood, your hair and nails growing and to keep your organs functioning. This is considered your basal metabolic rate. This is calories which you burn naturally without having to do any physical activity. Anytime you are walking, cleaning, gardening etc you also burn calories. If you add exercising on top of all this, then you will burn even more calories. Get my point? Moving burns calories, period. The more calories you burn throughout the day, the more you need to refuel your body with food. Your metabolism is exactly like a fire, and I know you have probably heard that before, but it is a perfect phrase because it is true.
Read also: Why You Should Not Go For Extreme Diet
You need to keep adding fuel (food) to the fire (your body) in order to keep it burning. Have you ever had a fire going and thrown all of the wood on the fire at one time? What happens? The fire will be burning hot and high at first then eventually burn completely out. This is exactly like your metabolism. Once you fuel your body with food your metabolism will be burning hot, but if you go too long without fueling your body, your metabolism will eventually hang onto the calories instead of burning them off.
When your metabolism slows to this point, your body will actually adjust to burn fewer calories. Over time your metabolism will actually begin to use your muscle mass as fuel and store all calories which you are eating. How will these calories be stored you ask? As fat! Once your body is using muscle mass for fuel, it reduces your basal metabolic rate drastically. Thus, your body will not burn fat at all. Muscle is the main fuel for fat burning, the more muscle you have the more fat you body will burn.
Read also: Simple Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
All bodies are different
You may need to treat your body differently than your friend, family member or spouse. If a diet worked for them, it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. You have to pay attention to your body and see how it responds to different foods. As an average woman who does not get in a lot of exercise, the minimum you should be eating is around 1800 calories per day. YES that’s right, 1800 calories!
If you are an active woman your calories should be up around 2200 – 2400 calories per day. The average male should be eating around 2200 calories, and if you are an active male your calories should be approximately 2600 – 2800 calories…maybe even more! Remembering, the more active you are, and the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns, and therefore you need to eat more calories. Some men and women may need to eat even more than I suggested depending on their muscle mass. By saying that I do not mean “bulky” that just brings us to a whole other topic which I will later discuss.
How to loose weight
Ok, back on track here. Losing weight requires a lot of effort. You need to be focused on your long-term goal and try not to become discouraged if the process is slow. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Eating less is not going to get you there, eat more to see the results you are wanting.
If you are looking to lose weight the best approach would be to Eat Clean and increase Physical Activity. Foods that have clean ingredients are easier for your body to digest. How do you know if the ingredients are clean? One rule of thumb, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, don’t eat it! You can check out our blog for clean eating recipes if you are unsure of what kinds of foods to be eating. We will be updating recipes frequently.
If you were to begin extra physical activity and eat small meals every 2 – 3 hours, then you should start to see changes in your body. You may not see changes on the scale which is completely normal. Muscle is more dense than fat so it actually weights more than fat. If that number on the scale is staying the same but you have dropped 2 pant sizes, it’s because you have lost fat and gained lean muscle mass.
I suggest taking pictures when you begin your weight loss journey. Every November Mark and I both take picture of our bodies and over the past few years we can see how much our bodies have changed. Since we began our healthier lifestyle my weight has actually gone up by 16 pounds! Don’t judge that number on the scale, how you feel is what matters. Take measurements every six months and keep track of your progress.
If it helps you to stay on track, track your food and workouts in a journal. If you find that your weight loss comes to a halt, you could try cutting your calories by 500 and increase your physical exercise by 30 minutes each session. It could take up to six weeks to really see results when beginning a new workout/eating plan so be patient. Results will come I promise! Be true to yourself and you will see all the hard work and effort is really worth it in the end!
My name is Maria. I am a fitness instructor by morning/evening, & an avid reader & fitness coach when I can fit it in. I write about being a new mom, a fitness instructor, a wife, and a lover of life!