People want to believe that eating less is the way to lose weight. Which isn’t necessarily false, but it’s not the weight you want. I’m positive that anyone that is currently working out 3-5 times a week would love to lose fat versus muscle, right? Well little do many people know, starvation or not eating enough throughout the day, actually causes the body to burn muscle instead of fat. The human body is way more complex then perceived. But, let’s not get this confused with a calorie deficit, two different things (will talk about in a different post). There are a few special variables that need to be considered when trying to lose body fat.
Basal Metabolic Rate
BMR defines the number of calories an individual needs just to support daily bodily functions while you are at rest. These functions include circulation of blood, breathing, body temperature control, nerve and brain function, and many others. The numbers can be determined by age, height, weight, and gender. According to MayoClinic.org, “70 percent of the calories are already accounted for by your BMR.” That’s high! So, when you haven’t had anything to eat since 8am and it’s now 5pm and you get that hangry headache, think about that. You’re basically torturing yourself. So, in simpler words, your BMR is the number of calories your body needs to survive.
Starving isn’t FAT LOSS but FAT STORAGE
According to NetWellness.org, “A starvation diet does not mean the absence of food; it means cutting the total caloric intake to less than 50% of what the body requires,”. The plate in my cover image is roughly about 350-400 calories (8oz chicken 250+ 1cup of Squash 60+), many people burn that in a 30-45 min workout. It’s best to put a protein shake or something nutritious back in the body, at least 30 min after a workout. If you’re depriving yourself and you know it, stop now! What happens is the body goes into a low-calorie consumption phase, which reduces the amount of energy it uses to operate (slower metabolism). Even worse than that, it stops burning fat and starts eating MUSCLE. Now women, it takes A LOT to become bulky if it’s not in your genetics or build. Whether people understand it or not, we need muscle. The point in saying all this, is that people won’t get the results by eating one or two small meals a day.
“What do I do?”
To jump start that metabolism again, focus on consuming enough calories, hold on to lean body mass (LBM) and continue to build more muscle. The more LBM you have, the higher your metabolism will likely be. When consuming enough calories, many specialists recommend that men eat at the least 1,800 and women consume at least 1,200. Now, of course this would need to be adjusted when considering activity levels. I’d suggest that getting this calculated by a nutritionist.
Building muscle helps to burn more calories because its metabolically more active. I’ve told quite a few of my clients that it’s better to lose weight slowly (1-2 lbs. a week) instead of at a fast pace (4-6 lbs. a week) to actually know that the weight will stay off. This also ensures that people are burning fat versus burning muscle. Start doing exercises that help with maintaining and building muscle such as squats, lat-pull down, push-ups, pull-ups, lunges and many more.
Lastly, don’t get stuck on trying to look like a IG (Instagram) model or having a six pack. Yeah, these things are nice, but they don’t define happiness. Lose fat at a healthy pace and understand that this takes time! It’s a marathon, not a race. Accept it as a lifestyle and not a hobby and find a support system (family, friends) that wants to help bring positive energy. Never know who will want to join you along the way.
Greater Things Await!
Author Allison Hagendorf Contributor Allison Hagendorf is the Official Host of Times Square New Year’s Eve. (2015, September 08). How Eating Too Little Will Eat Up Your Fat-loss Goals. Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/5639/how-eating-too-little-will-eat-up-your-fat-loss-goals
Edward R. Laskowski, M. (2017, April 12). Is whole-body vibration an effective workout? Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/whole-body-vibration/faq-20057958