Alright all, let’s talk about one of my all-time favorite topics when it comes to weight loss. Which is, why you need to EAT to lose weight. Most people have this complex with food where they fear it. They fear eating “too many calories” will make them “fat”. If you’re thinking this, I’m sorry to burst your bubble but this is FALSE. We are all built differently and desire different caloric needs but let’s focus on the why for now.
With almost all of my clients, I notice this pattern. Let’s get honest too, who doesn’t love to eat?! I can speak for myself because I absolutely LOVE to eat. I look forward to enjoying something delicious every 2-3 hours throughout my day. Ironically, I can even tell you what time it is based on my stomach because it’s programmed as such. If you’re not fueling properly, here are a few (of many) examples to what’s really going on inside your body.
#1 – After sleeping throughout the night your body has digested your food from the previous day. Therefore, you have woken in a fasted state. Sleep is so important with diet (separate topic) but mostly because your body does all the work while you rest. It’s the time for your body to recover. So, when you wake up after sleeping for 6-8 hours your body is ready to go! It’s hungry and it needs to be fed. Your metabolism is running at its fastest state. So here is your golden opportunity to set your tone for the day, EAT breakfast. Fuel the fire (your metabolism). This is why you hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, because it is!!
#2 – When you drop your calories your body immediately starts to think you’re starving so it kicks it into survival mode. To combat the starvation mode, your body will hold onto fat stores and begins using your muscles as energy which will leave you feeling sluggish, weak and tired. The take home message here, your body holds on to fat to store for energy later. It burns muscle first, then fat so your muscle fat ratio goes high in fat and low in muscle. The goal here is to build muscle which burns fat, not lose muscle and build fat.
#3, If you are exercising on top of a low caloric intake you are now fighting two battles. One as mentioned above and you’ve now added stress to your body by not feeding it when it’s screaming to be fed. This will cause your body to become very fatigued and irritable. Who gets cranky when they don’t eat? I DO! #hangry
#4, By starving your body, eventually your metabolism will plateau and it will seem like no matter what you do you are having a hard time losing weight. Any of you felt this way? This is because your body is in a constant ‘starvation mode’ and is refusing to let go of fat. This is a very frustrating place to be. Good news, this isn’t permanent but will desire the motivation, determination and patience to hit the reset button and rebuild your metabolism.
Apart from the above, you have to make sure that you are eating the correct balance in your diet. As I mentioned, we all desire different caloric needs. Your caloric needs are based on your age, height, weight and your activity level. From there, it’s all based on your goals. What are you trying to achieve? Weight loss? Muscle gain? Balance? Lifestyle? Longevity? This is where your balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat break down comes in.
The journey of becoming healthy is not one to be intimidated by. It is about changing your mindset on a variety of things. It is just as much mental as it is physical. Looking at food as fuel is part of this journey. You need to learn how to nourish your body with proper nutrition in order to be successful. I preach nutrition education to all of my clients and is one of the specialties I offer to all of them. In order to succeed with whatever goal you are trying to achieve you have to learn and understand the platform underneath it. Remember: This is not a “diet”. I do not believe in “diets”. It is a lifestyle that you are learning and working on. At the end of the day, this is your life. You control how you want to look and feel on a daily basis by the amount and types of nutrients you consume. So, don't starve your body, fuel your body with the balance of natural, whole, and delicious foods!