We’re starting off this blog post with five questions!
- Do you think that you should always be trying to lose weight?
- Have you been actively trying to lose weight for longer than 6 months?
- Have you been eating at a deficit for longer than 6 months?
- Has your weightloss progress stalled completely?
If you answered YES to any of the above questions then this blog post was literally written for you!
The world seems to constantly preach that we need to be smaller and be less (especially us females), so what is next? Should we just disappear into thin air?! Diet culture is real and the trend to be tinier continues with things like waist trainers, ItWorks aka expensive plastic wrap, and special creams that make you sweat more…because that’s how it works right? Fads, gimmicks and magic solutions are “sexy” to the consumer which is why these products exist. They give those looking to lose weight a shed of hope that it can happen in a way other than diet or exercise. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I preach being a strong woman that promotes a healthy balance and making fitness and nutrition enjoyable to you.
As online coaches, we work mostly with women and most of these women come to us with goals of fat loss, when in reality they should be learning how to fuel their body properly and in most cases, they should be eating way MORE than what they currently consume. If you are undereating and have been for months or even years, you are not only hurting your chances to improve your physique, but you are putting your health at risk.
Let’s start by listing some of the things that happen when you’re consistently undereating what your body requires for energy:
Many individuals don’t even realize they are undereating, yet on the flip side, many do and are actively trying to do so thinking that it’s the only way they will ever lose the weight. There are issues in both of these mindsets clearly. Your body should not be in a constant deficit. A fat loss phase should last anywhere from 12-16 weeks MAX for most average individuals (this varies per person but is a good range to go by). Any longer than that risks you experiencing some of the above symptoms, or will result in you regressing from your goals which no one wants obviously.
So if you are someone who is either always dieting, or has never known anything else, it’s time to hop out of that deficit and jump into a maintenance phase. Tracking your intake (calories and macros) during this time would be highly beneficial to ensure that you’re eating enough each day and to find your maintenance level of intake or your body’s “set point” where you are maintaining bodyweight. If you’ve been dieting for a LONG time ( 6+ months or longer) I would suggest eating at your maintenance intake to start, then do what we call a reverse diet or slowly increase calories from carbs and fats weekly or biweekly to increase your metabolic capacity.
I know eating MORE can be a scary thought especially if you’ve only ever been told to eat less, choose the lower-calorie option and watch what you eat. It’s a BIG transition that I’ve been through and that I’ve helped our clients through, but once you realize that you can eat more and you won’t gain excessive amounts of weight, you will start to feel so much better, performance will rise in the gym and you will be a happier human all around. A lot of people don’t realize just how good their body can feel when you fuel it properly and it’s such an enlightening experience for them to go through. Not only that but fueling right will allow your body to actually put on some more lean muscle mass, which in turn can result in a leaner-looking physique in the long run.
To sum it up: Spending time at your maintenance intake, reverse dieting or even massing will be HIGHLY beneficial for your goals of fat loss. It’s absolutely necessary, and being miserable by eating less 24/7 is not how you have to live your life.
For questions or clarification on this topic, you can send us an email at FitnessTeam@sd-evolution.com
Thanks for reading guys,