Not Eating Enough Causing A Hold On Progress?
Updated: Nov 22, 2020
Quite often everyone assumes they are over eating. and that this is the sole cause for them to stall on shedding those unwanted pounds. I would say about 90%,-95% of the people that come to see me are not eating enough! Most people generally assume that they are eating plenty because they feel full most of time or they are bloated quite often. Generally this is because of the lack of variety/nutrients in the foods people are choosing daily to eat. This causes gut health issues as well as inflammation in the stomach. What most people are experiencing when they say they are full is their body's inability to digest food properly and inflammation.
Our bodies adjust to the stresses we put on it and the foods we put in it. If you regularly go all day without eating an adequate amount of calories, your body is going to respond to that. Its going to respond in a way that slows your metabolism down. The reason your metabolism is going to slow down is because your body has no idea when its going to get fed again. So naturally your body is going to try and savor the little food its getting. If the metabolism stays high while your eating little amounts, you're body is going to burn through that food quickly and start looking elsewhere for energy sources, like the nutrients stored in your muscles.. This is what we call catabolysis and this is not good. This is your body in starvation mode and its not going to go down without a fight. So in return its going to turn to all your hard earned muscle for energy to "stay alive".
Lets look at a typical diet for one day to give you an example of how most people in my experience eat and roughly how many calories it really comes too. As a side note, I never allow any client of mine to eat below 1000 calories once we start. That is the very minimum for what I'll allow them to build up from if needed.
6-8 A.M Breakfast: 1 coffee with creamer and toast with peanut butter ( 310 calories )
10-12 P.M Lunch: sandwich with a pop (300 calories) or 4-6 oz. chicken w/veggies and 1/2 cup rice (300 calories)
3-4 P.M Afternoon Snack: protein bar (150 calories)
6-9 P.M Dinner: frozen dinner (300 calories) or Nothing (0 Calories)
Being generous and assuming one is eating even this much on a standard diet still only comes to 1060 calories at best for an entire day. Most people I speak with, don't even have anything to eat until 10-12 P.M and then have a bite of one thing for dinner sometimes. If I had to say on average with most people I initially speak with, they are only eating 500-800 calories a day!
This is extremely problematic because now that your body has adjusted to eating so few calories, if you cut anymore calories, you'll literally be malnourished. So what do we do? We reverse this spell and get you to eat more! How? By strategically increasing the calories you eat week to week. This is called reverse dieting! Let's say you're eating 1000 calories a week. You'd want to start off with bumping that to 1200 for 2 weeks and monitoring how you feel and seeing if the body gains or loses. Most of the time if you're active and eating clean, the body weight will remain the same or even drop! You cant' just jump into eating 2000 calories a day because your body wont know what to do with excess calories. After those 2 weeks you'll bump it up again and continue to do that until you've worked up to a proper amount of calories for you! If you're gaining rather quickly for any reason, taper the calories back and let your body get acclimated to the amount of calories you're giving it. The body is resilient and will adapt just be patient. Look into the st. mifflin jeor formula to identify your specific needs with calorific intake! By this point your body should have a higher metabolism and you should feel a bit more hungry as well as having more energy!
Be patient and be consistent. Find out how many calories your consuming daily to see if you need to cut back or increase. Don't assume you know! Record it for 3-5 days and find out the average. If you find out you need to eat more, look up calorie dense foods to help you eat more! Things like nuts, raisins, red meat, beans, rice and fruit are all good foods that are calorie dense! Don't stall your progress under eating! If you need any help you can contact me at Brandon@blinnfitstudio.com or on Instagram @Blinn_Fitness!