Call us now 910-208-0771

Are You Eating Enough?

Are you eating enough?

“Burn more calories than you eat” seems like a pretty simple approach to weight loss and is the one common factor among just about every weight loss plan. But it is much more complicated than that! Many people tend to over or underestimate how much they are eating or burning and as a result, struggle to get the results they want, or achieve results that last. In the picture below, you can see how there are a ton of factors that play into the overall equation when it comes to “burn more calories than you eat.”

We live in a “need it now” world where everything we want is at our fingertips. A few minutes of waiting and we have a whole meal in the drive thru, one swipe of your finger and all the information in the world is easily accessed. This mindset often carries over into weight loss. If people don’t see instant results, they don’t want it. So, the common cycle we see as health and wellness professionals is when a person decides to take control of his/her health (yay!). They go on the internet to look up ways to make that happen and choose one of the bajillion weight loss diets out there. All too often, the diet is not cohesive with his or her way of life. Diets tend to be very exclusive, leaving people feeling deprived and unable to enjoy their life as they did before, resulting in them giving up, defaulting to old habits, and returning to the weight that they were at before. So how do we break this cycle?  

Do not fit your life into a diet. Find a diet that fits into your life.

A diet that works is a diet that can be maintained for the rest of your life. If you want to sustain the weight you have lost, you must be able to sustain the diet you are practicing! Which brings us to a calorie deficit. Yes, burning more calories than you consume will cause you to lose weight, BUT are you losing the right kind of weight? When we cut calories, our body will turn to fat stores in order to keep you functioning at the optimal level. But too few calories over a prolonged period can result in the breakdown of muscle mass. Which of course, isn’t good! It can also result in a lower basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the rate you burn calories when you do absolutely nothing. Also, not good! For women the average BMR is 1400 kcal and for men it’s about 1800 kcal. Again, this is at complete rest. So, when we take into account things like getting out of bed, getting dressed, going to work, exercise, etc. your body probably requires more calories than you think! And the kind of calories you are eating (AKA macronutrients) are a crucial piece to this puzzle as well.

Why are macronutrients (carbs, fats, and proteins) important? Your body requires a certain amount of macronutrients to keep it functioning optimally. The carbs will fuel training, boost leptin (a super important hormone), keep up sex hormones, and prevent feelings of deprivation. And the fats also keep up sex hormones, boost the immune system, suppress excess inflammation, and make food taste good. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. And this is often where people fall short in their diet. A quick way to set your plate up to make sure you are hitting the right amount of each nutrient would be to set your plate up like the ones below. Notice three are  few options based on when you eat.

So, what are some signs that you are not eating enough? Being cold all the time, feeling sluggish, and having mood swings are all signs that you may not be eating enough even if you think you are. Weight loss plateauing, an irregular menstrual cycle, and feeling unwell are also signals that you might not be eating enough. Your body will start to cut out functions that it deems unnecessary in order to survive. A healthy diet should make you feel better, not worse!

Here are a few ways you can start your weightloss journey the right way:

1.      Track your food. Not forever (unless you want to), just enough to get a sense of what you are really putting into your body. (MyFitnessPal is a great resource)

2.      Get a rough estimate of how many calories you NEED. Basal metabolic rate plus how much activity you typically perform in a day. Don’t be too generous with this number! Calorie counters used for workouts can be off by as much as 100 calories! The Inbody machine at BFP will calculate your BMR for you and help you get started.

3.      Listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full, not bursting out of your pants. Choose healthier whole foods over the quick fix whenever possible.

4.      Fuel yourself properly. The hand portion guide is a great way to make this more feasible in everyday life. For men:2 palms of protein dense foods with each meal; 2 fists of vegetables with each meal; 2 cupped hands of carb dense foods with most meals; 2 entire thumbs of fat dense foods with most meals. For women: 1 palm of protein dense foods with each meal; 1 fist of vegetables with each meal; 1 cupped hand of carb dense foods with most meals; 1 entire thumb of fat dense foods with most meals.

Of course, just like any other form of nutrition planning — including calorie counting – this serves as a starting point.

If you would like to know more about how to make sure you are fueling your body properly, reach out to any of our coaches and we will gladly get you started on the right track! BFP offers a nutrition accountability program to help you stay on track and have professional guidance to ensure you achieve the results you want in a healthy way. Be on the lookout for more blog posts to get a more in-depth info on properly fueling your body!

 

 

Thanks!

Coach Jay




Request Information Now!