Lets flash back to 2014 for a brief moment. A 28 year old young man (wahhhh, to be 28 again) decides he’s going to do physique competition. All the cool kids were doing it, so why not. Knowing a solid amount about training and a very basic level knowledge of nutrition, he embarks on his journey. Well, the momentum is quickly put to a screeching halt when his idea of getting shredded is cutting carbs super low, to the point that veggies are factored into carb counts. That young man calls emergency reinforcements (I see you George) 3 weeks out, but the damage is done and goes zombie mode for the last 3 weeks of prep. Thanks to very little food.
Now lets look back at last year. Same man, little bit older, decides to step up with the big dogs and compete at the World Championships. Gone are the days of counting veggies as carbs, 300g of carbs is the minimum and that 31 year old young pup ends up in the best shape of his life. Easiest prep of his life and never was there a day when he was in zombie mode or hungry. Moods were positive, spirits were high all thanks to eating a decent amount of food
Real tough one there on who it is, huh? What a difference a few years can make. Those quick anecdotes were not meant to reminisce about the glory days of when I was shredded (wahhh, to be shredded again!) but rather to highlight a very very crucial point … YOU CAN EAT GOOD AND STILL LOSE WEIGHT!
I know, it’s a crazy thought, right? Losing weight while eating a decent amount of food. What’s even crazier is that you can train your body to handle more & more calories over time while still maintain a slim & trim physique. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. The most common pitfall I have encountered with those that I have coached & guided is that they have assumed that the way to lose weight is to just eat “less.” However, when we review what “less” is, it’s barely enough for their body to function & and work it’s magic.
The human body is an incredible machine, it adapts, gets stronger and evolves. And like any incredible machine, it needs proper fuel to function optimally. At its very core, our body’s principal function is survival. It will do whatever it needs to do to keeps us alive. So like any incredible machine, when the proper fuel is not found, systems fail or get shut down in an effort to keep more important functions on.
As it relates to the human body, when our body detects low fuel it begins to reduce active thyroid hormones, shutting down sex hormone production and raising stress hormones like cortisol (read up more on anabolic hormones here). From a gains perspective, this is all very bad. From a weight-loss perspective, also very bad. Your body will adapt to your bare bones nutritional intake, not do the things we want it to do (aka weight loss) and reach a new (not ideal) level of homeostasis. Simply put, eating at such a low caloric intake will lead to stalled weight loss and overall body fat retention.
Cool Dan, so then what do I do?
Well, unfortunately there is no magic formula to get your exact required daily caloric intake. But there things we can do to get to that point.
- First of all, DO NOT think you need to eat less than you already are. Or you need to do more cardio. Don’t! Stop it! Don’t you dare…
- Ok, next. Keep eating what you’re eating but this time track it. You need to truly understand where you are before we can figure out where we need to go.
- Women, if you’re clocking only triple digit calories, we must GO ALL THE WAY UP! … Well up to four digit calorie totals.
- Men … If you’re active, lifting, doing your fitness grind … you have no business being in the 1,200 to 1,400 calorie totals. I sometimes eat that in one meal.
- Play around with your carbs and fats. Add in a little bit week over week and keep tabs not only on your weight but also on your energy levels. If we’re improving in any of those categories, then we’re making progress
- Patience. This is a marathon not a sprint. Building slow will lead to long term happiness and benefits
- If you’re still struggling, reach out to us and we would be happy to help coach you down the path to success.
And there you have it beautiful people. Consistent weight loss does not necessarily mean eating less than you are now. Don’t be afraid to explore eating more. You’re out there grinding and pushing your body to new heights. Reward it with some proper nourishment, feed the machine, and watch the magic happen.