Struggling to lose weight? Maybe you are not eating enough.
This is something I came across quite a lot recently. People who eat very little, amounting maybe to just over 1000 calories a day are simply not dropping the pounds. If this sounds familiar to you, keep reading.
Are you logging your calories properly?
There are few things that are easily forgotten when you start tracking your calories. One example is drinks, whether that is sugary drinks, alcohol, tea or coffee. If you ad milk and sugar to your tea/coffee this should be accounted for. Alcohol is often labeled as “empty calories”, but don’t be mistaken alcoholic drinks can be very high in calories. For people who enjoy bier or wine after work, these are still calories and should be tracked. Another one people often forget about is fats used in the cooking process – for example oil. One tablespoon of olive oil has roughly 100 calories, that’s not something you want to forget to log. There are many more examples of course but these are some of the most common ones. If you recognise your own behaviour in this maybe start being more precise with your tracking.
You have done a million fad diets
This is also very common and something I see a lot, particularly in women. I will start by explaining what I mean when I say fad diet: a diet that is extremely restrictive in terms of total daily calories consumed (anything 1400 or below). Of course we are all different and need unique calorie intakes and macronutrient distribution but 1400 is generally considered very low. What happens with fad diets is that the calories are too low to make it sustainable – which is why most people fail to stick to it and when they start eating more again they will see what is often called a “Yo-yo effect”. This is a result of increasing the calories too drastically too quickly.
When you restrict your calories your body will do everything to adjust to that new calorie intake, that means your metabolism will “slow” down. This basically means your metabolism adapts to the new daily intake of energy and will try to keep all the essential functions going (i.e. blood circulation, pumping of the heart, functioning of the brain, digestion etc.).
But what can you do when you have a slow metabolism because of endless “Yo-yo dieting”?
I would recommend getting in touch with a nutrition coach to help you create a structured plan. A slow metabolism isn’t permanent. Reverse dieting is a common method that aims to slowly increase calories over a longer period of time. In fact after any diet you may want to consider reverse dieting – as being in a calorie deficit for a prolonged period of time is neither healthy nor fun.
The benefits of eating more and fuelling your body correctly.
I too have spent my fair share of time in a calorie deficit. At the start I lost weight and at some point the weight just stayed the same. I didn’t increase my calories, I just kept eating the same amount for years. Once I decided to educate myself and become a personal trainer, I realised that I am actually under-eating. Suddenly everything made sense, why I felt so low on energy all the time and why I struggled to increase strength. Once I knew that my problem could be solved by something as simple as eating more and upping my protein intake, everything changed! I was finally able to progress in my training, things that seemed hard are now so easy I can do them as a warm-up and I feel more energised. I feel much healthier overall and I also noticed that my hunger hormones adjusted again.
If feel stuck with your training and diet and need help, feel get in touch for a free consultation.