The traditional advice given to people looking to lose weight is ‘Eat less, exercise more’. I’m sure you’ve heard this plenty. When people are really determined to lose weight they tend to take this advice to the extreme. They typically spend hours in the gym and refuel with rice cakes and other low calorie options. I’ve been there before. Now I know that this is one of the worst thing you can do for long term success. I’m going to show you how it’s making you fatter and it’s making it harder for you to lose weight.
Perhaps you’ve been in this boat before. Whether it be nearing your summer holiday or a friends wedding, you think ‘Damn, I really need to sort my body out once and for all,’ and you try to cram what should be 3 months worth of weight loss into 3 weeks. Here are the 3 main reasons why you should NEVER try to lose weight like this and afterwards I’ll tell you what to do instead
1) A starving body won’t burn fat, it will burn muscle
Before you start a diet your body is probably already malnourished as I explain in my free weight loss challenge. When a malnourished person starts eating less their body goes into survival mode. Rather than burning through fat stores for energy your body will look to burning muscle because muscle is more metabolically active than fat. Basically this means that it takes more energy for your body to maintain muscle than it does fat, so when there isn’t much food coming in your body opts to burn muscle. Studies have shown up to 70% of the weight lost from severe calorie restrictions is from muscle tissue.
Add to this that your body will now burn even fewer calories while resting (BMR), then you will soon find that returning to normal eating habits causes you to gain more weight than it would have before the diet.
2) The more you exercise the hungrier you get
Hunger is one of our strongest survival instincts. Sure you can use sheer Will Power to overcome this powerful urge for a short time, but eventually you’re going to crack. This is a good Thing! Ignoring your drive to eat will lead to an imbalance in your hunger hormones. The reason many people are unsure when or how much to eat is because their hunger hormones have became unstable. This has only gotten worse because of ‘experts’ telling us when and how much to eat rather than just LISTENING TO OUR OWN BODY.
Don’t feel guilty for all of those times you’ve ‘failed’ on a fad diet, just be happy that you were sensible enough to end the madness.
When you exercise your body will use up nutrients, such as calcium which plays a role in muscle contractions and various important micronutrients. Most people think avoiding hunger is the key to weight loss and that eating foods that keep you feeling fuller longer is the solution. However this is not the case. Hunger is your body telling you that you need more nutrients, it doesn’t matter how full your stomach is. Think about it, are you only not hungry when your stomach is 100% full? Of course not. Remember when you were out as a kid and your parents tried to make you come home for dinner; you hadn’t eaten in hours and your stomach was empty but you just weren’t hungry.
‘Hunger is a lack of nutrients, not a lack of calories. Eating better quality food will lead to needing fewer calories and is the ultimate key for weight loss.’
3) You’re reinforcing the belief that it’s a sacrifice to be slim
It’s catch 22 for people stuck in the diet cycle. One part of their brain wants an awesome body and the other part wants to binge on pizza and cake. You feel deprived when you go on a diet and you feel like you hate your body when you’re not on one. It’s a mental tug of war between a long term goal and a short term desire.
Every time you go on a fad diet you are reinforcing the idea in your head that it’s a constant chore to be slim when in reality there is a much simpler solution. Instead of trying to eat less and exercise more, you should ‘Eat MORE (nutritious food) and exercise REGULARLY.’
Instead of trying to ‘eat less, exercise more,’ try to eat MORE good food and exercise REGULARLY.
This is the solution.
And this is what I want you to get from this post. There is no such thing as a quick fix for fat loss. Biology has a limit on how fast our body can remove fat. You optimize this by feeding your body the right foods, not by starving yourself.
Start focusing on that. If you’re unsure of where to start then try my free habit change challenge by signing up below. It will give you everything you need to optimize your fat burn and you will actually enjoy the process this time because you won’t be going ‘on a diet’