We've all heard it, "if you eat less than you burn, you'll drop body fat", but is it really that simple? The answer is in the short term, yes, in the long term, no! We've all seen it, some people can eat a truck load of food and never lift a finger whilst not gaining any weight, while for others it seems the less we eat, the harder it becomes to burn body fat! That's because that's partially it, some of us actually aren't
I'm sure everyone has done this before; cut back on their food consumption for a couple of days, maybe even a week or more to
As you start to decrease the amount of food you eat it doesn't go unnoticed to your body. Sure you'll get away with it for several days, but after that you're going to notice a plateau, so you'll try eating less. This vicious cycle continues until you eventually notice you're no longer able to drop body fat at all! You've just hit what we call 'metabolic damage'. You didn't know it but while you were eating less and less, your metabolic rate has been slowing down more and more, your body has become more efficient at burning the fuel it does have, meaning you don't burn the same amount you used to, and it has gotten smarter at storing fat and getting rid of unnecessary energy expending parts like your muscles in preparation for its fight to keep you alive! You've really done it now!
Good news is this can be fixed, but it takes time; it isn't another crash diet! The only way to start dropping body fat is to
A) stop eating altogether, or
B) actually starting eating more
Option B obviously being the smartest method! But it isn't simply a matter of stuffing your face with food; that will only make matters worse. Instead you need to slowly build yourself back up. One of the first and most important things to do is to:
A) start resistance training, and
B) eat to fuel muscle growth.
The more muscle your body has, the higher its metabolic rate to maintain its muscle mass, meaning you'll start tapping into your fat stores more for fuel. This includes strategically eating more protein and carbohydrates to fuel muscle gain (no you're not going to look like a bodybuilder, girls!).
The first thing you will notice is an increase in energy levels; your body can finally stop putting you to sleep to conserve energy! The second is you'll start sleeping better; deeper and longer leaving you to feel fresher in the mornings, and thirdly, and most importantly, you'll start dropping body fat! Who would have thought, huh? Eating more and building muscle raises your body's metabolic rate and gets you leaner, stronger, fitter and healthier!
So stop starving yourself and start eating more, not only will you become leaner when you're stuck in a rut, but you'll also feel better! But plan your approach into this and have a bit of patience. You'll notice results quite quickly provided you're not excessively fueling your body and have a strategic plan in place to reverse the damage you have caused to your metabolism.