Gina and I hear this time and time again.
“I’ve hit a plateau. I was losing weight but I just can’t seem to lose anymore. I’m only eating (X) amount of calories and I’m hitting the gym and doing cardio 5-6 times per week. I’m starving all the time. What am I doing wrong”?
The simple answer many don’t want to believe is they have to eat more to lose weight. Sure you need to be at a deficit in calories to lose weight but not too much a deficit. Your body is an intelligent beast. If it’s not getting enough calories, It will go “starvation mode”. It will basically slow your metabolism down to a crawl. It will start to conserve fat stores and switch to burning muscle for energy. You know what happens when you have less lean mass? Your metabolism slows even further because it takes more energy to burn muscle than fat. Less muscle=lower metabolism.
Throw in the fact that you are starving and you are setting yourself up to succeed at the exact opposite of what you set out to do. Keep this up and you will end up binging. Binging while your body is in this state will pack the pounds back on and probably add a few extra. When this happens, many tend to get depressed as they feel they have failed and have a sense of helplessness about their circumstances. What do we turn to when we are feeling down?
What do we turn to when we’re feeling down? Comfort food. Do healthy fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins come to mind when you think of comfort food? Probably not. How about potato chips, ice cream, candy, cake and other less-than-nutritious food-stuffs? I would guess, yes. What does that lead to? You guessed it. More weight gain!
So if you’re ready to make that journey, come up with a plan first. Make a food log. Find out how many calories you are taking in and how many you need every day just to keep your weight steady. Start to make healthier food choices. Look for fresh fruits and vegetables you enjoy eating. Same with lean proteins. Based on your daily caloric needs, reduce your intake by roughly 20%. Ex: If you need 2000 calories to maintain your current weight, try taking in about 1600 calories for the first week or two. Monitor your progress and adjust your calories accordingly. Just don’t adjust by too much or you could end up in that starvation mode I mentioned above.
Try to add weight bearing exercises as part of your routine. As I said, the more lean mass you have on your body, the higher your metabolism will be. Have a friend who is also looking to lose weight? Do it as a team. Having someone along for the ride will make the journey much easier. Nice to have someone to lean on for support and a little friendly competition never hurt anyone either.
Don’t know where to begin or looking for someone to give you that support. We can help with that. Doesn’t matter if you live close or far away. We can work with you to help set yourself up for success.
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With a bit of simple prep work, you can set yourself up for looking and feeling better than you ever thought was possible.