Our Culture tells us that there is a new “trick” to losing weight about every 6-12 months… try this drink and you’ll lose x# of pounds. Intermittent fasting, Carb Cycling, No Carb, Macros, Paleo, Keto, Whole 30. This “DIET” culture is number 1 very confusing for most people and number 2 puts us in a mindset that we are supposed to be on some kind of diet ALL YEAR ROUND. Diets usually restrict calories. What is the problem with restricting calories long term you might ask?
When we restrict calories...
long term, our body is under CHRONIC STRESS this doesn’t even include the daily stress we experience through work, relationships, traffic, coworkers, etc. Our body doesn’t care if your stress is mental or physical or emotional… the same hormones are released. When we are under eating we are not giving our bodies the opportunity to run efficiently, or our digestion to run smoothly, or our ability to recover successfully.
Do you have chronic pain?
Do you have either one or all, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn?
Do you sleep well? Do you get injured often? Do you get terribly sore all the time?
Do you have acne?
Do you have chronic headaches?
Are you always irritable? Do you lack motivation?
Do you have a sex drive?
How many of those did you answer yes to? Even ONE of those are off, your body is stressed.
When your body is under stress it will...
Hold on to water; puffiness. Inflammation.
A lot of times lose muscle or decrease the ability to gain muscle
Hold on to FAT- or decrease the ability to burn fat
Terrible sleep- terrible falling asleep/staying asleep/actually sleeping
Crave sugar and salt
Decrease motivation or sex drive
Increase the likelihood of injury
Brain fog- irritability/ loss of focus
Lack of PRs or improvement in the gym
What can you do about it?
1. Slow down, Identify stressors in your life.
2. Make time for yourself to REST, do something you enjoy. --> seriously helps.
3. NOT DIET ALL YEAR ROUND. Diets should only last 8-12 weeks at a caloric restriction. Then there MUST BE a recovery phase where you eat a normal amount of calories maybe another 12-16wks. Then if desired take another cut on calories. HAVE YOU EVER TRIED THAT? IT WORKS!
4. Track and see how much food you consume on a normal basis. Is it poverty calories Men under 1600 or Women under 1300? If so, your body will have trouble losing fat and gaining muscle. But what if you are eating enough calories but your intake is mostly fat and carbs? (super common). This is still a stress… because to get that much carbs and fat you need processed, fast food, sugary stuff… no one OD’s on Vegetables and coconut oil.
5. After tracking your food. Ask a coach… or if you want to delay your results educate yourself on how to figure out your maintenance caloric load. Start slowly increasing your calories until you get there.
6. There is a lot more than can go into health. That is a start. Micronutrients are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT… for the cells in your body to communicate, repair, rebuild, and to be used for energy. WATER is super important, how do you think your cells transport around in your body?