Over the last month I’ve had this conversation about a dozen times, so I figured it was time to write a blog since it sounds great, but seems so counter-intuitive.
Eat more to lose weight?
When clients start with me, I have them eat quite a bit of food.
They find this surprising because when they first start using food tracking apps like My Fitness Pal, and enter their calculations (height, weight, desired weight, etc.), the app calculations tells them to eat some pathetically low caloric number– like 1200 calories a day.
But starting out your diet at 1200 calories is a terrible idea, let me tell you why.
By starting your diet at 1200 calories, you may lose weight rapidly, and you may be so excited by the immediate results that you convince yourself it’s sustainable (which for the record– it’s not).
If you’re new here: the first rule of Weight Loss Rebels is we only do things to lose weight that we can stick with long-term (so 1200 calorie diets are O-U-T!).
Your body will notice the sudden decrease in energy (food intake/total calories for the day), and in order to preserve energy it will slow your metabolism down, so you burn fewer calories in a day (ever wonder why your Fitbit says you burned 2300 calories a day, you eat 1500 and aren’t losing weight? Ding, Ding, Ding!)
When your metabolism slows down, you then have to take extra measures to get results– eat fewer calories; exercise more, or both.
So if you are starting your plan at 1200 calories a day and after a few months you hit a plateau, then what?
You eat 1000 calories a day?
You exercise 7 days a week?
You lose your period?
No thanks! Not happening on my watch.
I have clients eat abundantly, log their food, and weigh every day so we can first understand where they are at metabolically.
If their metabolism is “normal” and they eat and burn 2000 calories a day without weight shifts, then I know I can put them into a solid deficit of 300-400 calories and they can lose weight by eating 1600-1700 calories.
This is great news because it means that they can still eat quite well for the first several weeks of their fat loss phase without cutting too much, and it gives us a lot of space for adjustments.
While I get that fast results can be alluring, let me ask you if you want to lose weight now or if you want to lose weight for good?
Losing weight for good requires investing time (and patience) to preserve your metabolism will be time well spent. Not only will your weight loss journey be a lot more pleasant, but you won’t have to be existing off celery juice to get results.
If you have been tempted to try a new quick fix this January, I’d invite you to consider that there is an alternative to the madness. If you’re interested in going at it on your own, then check out my getting started blog.
What if you’re ready to go all-in and you’d like the support of a coach to get to your goal? Click here to schedule a free break through session with me.
Happy New Year Everyone! Let’s Eat!