Why You Need To Eat To Lose Weight
It's a given fact that in order to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. If your energy output (daily calories burned) is greater than your energy input (daily calories eaten) you should lose weight.
What happens when people hear this theory, is that they think, "okay, I need to eat less calories than I burn, so I just won't eat." Then they create a deficit that is far too big or eat lower than their BMR. Here's why that could backfire for you.
1. If we under eat, we put our bodies at risk for more stress. A higher amount of stress in our bodies, results in higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Higher levels of cortisol promote fat storage (particularly in the abdominal area) and increased sugar cravings.
2. The body needs fuel for energy. If you're not fueling your body with enough food, it will result to burning muscle for fuel. So all that hard work you're doing in the gym to build muscle and burn fat, will be a loss as your body will be needing the fuel to survive.
3. Without enough nutrients, our bodies will fall into a state of fatigue. Making it difficult for us to go about our daily activities, let alone exercise.
4. Not eating enough will slow your metabolism over time. This is often difficult to reverse. A higher metabolism means greater fat loss; a lower metabolism means lower fat loss. When we eat more, our bodies learn that they are not starving and thus will rev up our metabolism. When there is a lack of nutrients coming in, our bodies stress that food is not readily available and will preserve what is eaten by breaking things down at a slower pace.
Yes, calories out needs to be greater than calories in to create a deficit and therefore a fat loss. However, it is absolutely crucial that you are not in too big of a deficit when trying to lose weight. Ideally, you should only be eating somewhere between 15%-20% under your maintenance calorie level. The best way to determine this number is to track your daily food intake for a week, and find the average number of calories you are eating each day. This will allow you to see how many calories you are eating per day and staying at the weight you are currently at.
Working through how to calculate your average daily burn, your BMR (how many calories you burn just being alive) and fueling your body properly, is extremely important for everyone to do. Looking for a little assistance in doing so? I'm here to help! Whether you work with me one-on-one, or in one of my online bootcamps, this is something we definitely spend some time on together. Head over to my services page or send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's chat about getting your body fueled properly!