Eat Your Way Slim
Slashing calories to get slim? Here's why not eating enough can actually be counterproductive to your goals
Hello, HERS girls! I am going to cut right to the chase: I know that this may go against what many of you think, but if you are trying to lose weight, you may very well have to add more calories. Yes, you read that right! There is such a thing as cutting out too many calories, where it will actually have a reverse effect on your weight loss efforts.
While I know that some of you may not believe me, I also know that there are many more who may just want to give me a hug! Ha! Well, for both the believers and non-believers, here are some of the reasons (without getting too scientific) as to why this is accurate.
When you drastically cut back on your calories, you will likely first have success in dropping weight. Keep in mind, however, that your body is an extremely smart machine that looks to promote your survival. Over time, a significant reduction in calories (which you have likely coupled with an exercise regime) will signal your body to start preserving in order to keep you alive. How does it accomplish this? Well, it slows down your metabolism and holds on to your fat stores so that you do not “waste away”! Also, you know all of that lean muscle that you are working so hard to put on? Yep—that is the first to go! Your body will use your muscle for energy before it burns through any fat. And the reduced calories will also hinder your body’s natural production of testosterone, which, as you know, is a necessary hormone for building muscle. But wait, there’s more! When you lower your calorie intake more than you should, you are going to notice that you feel sluggish and that you are lacking energy big time. This will not only make it more difficult to get through your day, but also you will lack the motivation and stamina to get an effective workout in! Geez, cutting calories too much is starting to seem pretty counterproductive, huh? Well, ladies, that is because IT IS!
Those are just a few of the very basic reasons as to why you should not put yourself on a “barely there” diet. I know what you are all thinking, “Okay, well how many calories am I supposed to be eating?” Unfortunately, there is no cookie-cutter answer (nor should cookies make their way back into your diet as a result of this information!). There are so many variables to consider, such as the speed of your metabolism, your activity level, etc., so a lot of this will be trial-and-error. A good place to start would be to use a “Daily Caloric Needs Calculator,” to determine roughly how many calories you need to take in each day based on your age, activity level, current weight, etc. Then you’ll want to use a “Calories Burned Calculator,” to determine how many calories you burn daily based on your activity. (Both of these can be found by doing a quick Google search.) A monitoring device, such as an armband, can also provide a decent guesstimate of calories burned. Then, you want to make sure that you create a deficit. To lose weight, you need to burn more than you take in, but this should be done properly in moderation. Aim to lose about 2 pounds a week, so that your chances of losing fat while preserving muscle are much greater. Because 3500 calories equals about 1 pound of fat, so you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut a few hundred calories from your diet each day, and you burn calories during your work out, you can ditch a pound or two a week. But you want to be careful not too cut too many calories too soon.
Remember, HERS girls, the fact of the matter is that while getting in shape is certainly hard, it becomes much more tough if you are not eating enough! So, if you are trying to get your weight loss progress back underway, you may very have to put some additional food back into your entrée!
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