You may be very surprised when I tell you that one of the biggest issues I see with how most people eat, is that they don’t eat enough!
Yup! Sounds weird right? It is especially weird, considering that there are so many people out there trying to lose weight, get healthier, or gain muscle.
I am well aware this is an issue because when our members join our program, we ask them to start logging their daily food intake. This is not to be anal or to make their life more difficult, believe me! Rather it is to get people to realize how much (or little) they are eating and where their calories are coming from.
The outcome is surprising. Despite the fact that a lot of people tell me they are healthy eaters, it tells a very different story when they put it down on paper. Just because you fit a salad in somewhere along the day, that doesn’t mean your eating habits are healthy.
Not only are macronutrient proportions shocking to them – it is discovered that most are getting the greater part of their daily calories from carbohydrates. Not only that, they also have incredibly low fat and protein ratios. They are eating very little calories, under 1200 or 1000, and even as low as 900 for the whole day. It is a bit insane for a grown woman to be eating this little. How in the world do they function, I wonder?!
I mean unless you are lying in bed all day watching television, your body needs at least 1200 calories to function. This is not just your body, but your brain too!
So how does a person attempt to lose weight when they are eating like a bird and all the wrong ratios? It isn’t by calorie counting, but by eating enough calories to sustain their goals. This is achieved with the right macronutrient proportions of course.
Can we get our clients to lose a lot of weight if they calorie count and deprive themselves for many weeks? In most cases, yes. But the long term effect on their body and metabolism will be disastrous. When you say goodbye to healthy hormones, it will be an uphill battle to regulate them again and to convince your body that it no longer needs to be stressed out. You don’t want to stress your body out to the point of making it believe that it is being chased by a lion.
This is a really complex topic! Calories, hormones, weight loss – it’s just such a broad topic. But what I really nail down in this post is that eating enough of the right foods will impact all of these.
So what happens when we don’t eat enough? Let’s start off with what happens to your hormones:
When you don’t consume enough calories from the right foods, your body will save energy. This happens by reducing body temperature, slowing the pulse rate, and halting digestion. This affects proper thyroid function, and you become pro estrogen. In doing so, you are increasing your stress hormones.
You will also be in a state of encountering constant blood sugar roller coasters. This will leave you feeling depleted, tired, and grumpy! For many of you reading this, the 2-3 P.M. crash is a common occurrence; you can’t focus, and you feel tired and unproductive. You think that all you need is some caffeine running through your system when in reality, you need food.
Stress hormones, such as cortisol, will also be elevated. This leads to a state of constant stress that makes you hold on to excess fat instead of using it.
So what happens when you work your body out hard and starve your tissues from nutrients? Well, you won’t get the results that you want from your workout program.
If you want to get rid of excess fat stores, tone up, however you want to call it, you need muscle! Muscle is what will boost your metabolism even while you are at rest, sitting at your desk, or watching tv, etc….
But you need food to accomplish building muscle.
When you work out, your body breaks down muscle. Then your body responds by building muscle but this won’t happen if you are eating like a bird!
Now before you get the wrong idea, I should probably say that it’s not just about eating more, but about eating more of the right foods. Don’t follow my recommendation and up your calories by eating a bag of chips. Paying close attention that you are getting a balanced proportion of nutrients, protein, carbs, and fat, is key. It is also vital to consume whole foods. In our program we teach our members how to do this so they can see healthy results.
Simply put, you may very well lose plenty of weight on a very calorie restrictive diet. However, your long-term results will be negative. You will gain it back and more and that is totally not worth it!
Change your mindset and get yourself on a long-term health journey, not just some quick fix!
Love to all of you on your health journey!
Have a great day!