I know I know, eat less and move more. That’s how we’re supposed to lose weight, feel the best and look the best, according to the media.
But that’s how we’ve got to this point where everyone is chronically undereating, overtraining and seeing ABSOLUTELY NO RESULTS.
Don’t worry, I was there once too. I couldn’t figure out why things weren’t working when I was eating 1,600 calories and working out 5-6 days per week. How could I not lose any body fat at 213 pounds?
Turns out I had to flip this dieting methodology on its head. I had to eat more.
1. The main reason you should be eating more is that it boosts your metabolism. You are responsible for your metabolism whether you believe that or not. If your metabolism is turtle slow, that’s because you’ve allowed it to be in that state. Sure there are reasons that are thyroid related that can slow down your metabolism but you under eating is the sure-fire way to screwing things up and making it impossible to make your metabolism the fat burning machine you want it to be.
When it comes to creating weight loss, there’s really only one way to do it (sorry fad dieters). Create a caloric deficit. If your caloric maintenance (the amount of calories you’re eating to sustain body weight) is insufficient (sub 1700 for females, sub 2300 for men), we have nothing to subtract calories from without creating hormonal damage or metabolic adaptation. It’s like creating a financial budget with $1,000 each month and wanting to take on a new monthly payment for a new car. Good luck paying for a new car while budgeting that $1,000 towards rent, hydro, food, cell phone bills etc. It’s not going to happen. You have to increase the ceiling (calories or revenue) to make it work.
2. Everyone wants to enjoy a good cheat meal and not worry about it right? Who doesn’t want to go to DQ and crush one of those new Reese’s Blizzards?
Well, back to working your budget, you can’t do that if your budget is paper thin. Like wanting to buy a new car with little to no revenue, you can’t enjoy that Blizzard with little to no daily overall caloric intake. The reason for that is that if you only have 1,000 calories to work with for the day, and you eat 800 on that Blizzard, good luck eating just 200 calories for the rest of the day.
That being said, through reverse dieting and increasing your daily energy expenditure, enjoying snacks like this and many more will be a piece of cake. When I was eating 1,600 calories per day, it was damn hard to stay under that amount without being worried about gaining fat. But through slowly increasing that amount to 3,300 calories per day, I not only felt better but was able to have a beer or “cheat meal” and it wouldn’t affect my nutrition throughout the rest of the day.
3. Balancing and regulating or hormones and function throughout the body. When it comes to undereating, you can be run through the gamut of feeling horrible on a regular basis. Undereat and your sex drive goes down, you’re moody and sleeping at night has become an unconventional mess.
Increasing your caloric intake and the amount of food you’re eating on a regular basis decreases your stress levels while assisting in testosterone production and estrogen balance which are integral to not only feeling good but making sure you’re able to meet and exceed your goals.
Let’s face it, in today’s society there are no shortage of stressors that impact our lives. All of those stressors not only impacts the way we’re making nutritional decisions in the kitchen but can also impact the way our body sees stress and responds to it. If we’re constantly secreting cortisol, our body could care less about losing body fat and eating is one parasympathetic activity that helps us rest and digest.
From an evolutionary perspective, we weren’t stressed out when we were eating. We were relaxing and this means that increasing the amount and times we are eating allows our body to relax and digest everything that’s going on. No one is saying get the tub of ice cream out and sit on the couch and watch The Office all day (although how fun would that be?), but eating enough is a way for our body to optimize hormonally and feel awesome about it.
A former journalist and sports blogger, I've turned my writing prowess and love of fitness and nutrition into a personal blog where you can find anything you are looking for on the world of health, nutrition and fitness.