If you’re the type of person that only eats salad and still can’t lose weight then you need to read this and find out once and for all why some people eat less but gain more when it comes to their weight.
It’s something I’ve personally heard thousands of times from frustrated gym goers that swear they’re doing everything right but for some reason, they struggle to lose weight.
They cut out carbs, reduce their fats, and say goodbye to sugar and yet they all tell me the same thing… “I’m being good and I know what to eat, I’m practically starving myself, but I just can’t lose weight”… and you know what, I believe they think they’re being good but actually, to see the real reason why they can't lose weight, they need to take a closer look in the mirror.
If you find yourself in a similar position, or you simply want to know how to avoid making the same mistakes, then read on, because in this article we will break down once and for all why eating less could cause you to gain weight and not lose it.
You have probably heard it before and I make no apologies for saying it again, but to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit, that’s it, that’s the special secret.
You see, everything you do from watching TV to running 10 miles, requires energy and you get your energy from the food and drink that you consume.
If you take on board more calories than you burn (calorie surplus), then your body will store the extra energy as fat, and you will get bigger.
If you use more calories than you consume (calorie deficit) then you will have to use these fat stores for energy, and you will get smaller.
If you consume as much energy as you use (calorie balance), then your weight will stay the same.
Being in a calorie deficit and using your body’s stored fat cells is what you want if you’re trying to lose weight and it’s far simpler than you may think.
Just How Simple is it?
There are two main ways to get into a calorie deficit.
Although both methods can and do work, consuming fewer calories will give you better results.
Why? Well it’s simple, exercise doesn’t burn anywhere near as many calories as most people think and although it is possible to burn 400, 500, or more calories in an hour of exercise, most people burn around 200-350 in a normal exercise session, and when you consider that a Big Mac contains 540 calories and can be consumed in a matter of minutes you start to realize just how easy it is to pack on the calories with your food and drink than it is to burn them through exercise.
The best way to truly see results would be to combine both together, to consume fewer calories and exercise regularly, but it’s always worth remembering that the bulk of your results will come from your nutrition.
Eating for a Calorie Deficit
It’s fair to say that most people understand this which is why there’s always a new diet going around, whether its celebrities or your friends, there’s always something new that is designed to help people lose weight and this is where we start to see a trend.
A lot of people, whether they count their calories, cut out carbs, reduce their fats or just stick to ‘good foods’ do this, and if you think you’re doing everything right but for some reason, you can't lose weight, you’re probably doing it too.
They take their calories low, way too low, eating 600, 700, or 800 calories a day. They stick to salads and refuse everything else with an ounce of flavor and you know what happens at the end of the day? They’re starving… so they binge.
Sometimes it’s a little binge, eating off the kid's plates, taking a few nibbles from the kitchen, or taking a ‘bite or two’ of something sweet.
But sometimes it’s a big binge, where they demolish an extra-large pizza, 2 bottles of wine, and a gallon of ice cream to boot.
The troubling thing however is they think, and maybe you do too, that because you’ve been ‘good’ most of the time and you’ve only eaten salads that the damage won't’ be that bad and it won't have an impact, but I’m sorry to tell you that it does. It truly does.
Your Body Doesn’t Care
Despite what you may have been told, your body doesn’t care what time you eat, it only cares about the calories. If you eat 700 calories a day but binge 1000 every night around 8 pm your body doesn’t give you marks for good behavior, it adjusts based on the information it has.
Equally, if your calorie target for the week is 13000 and you only eat 5000 by Friday before consuming 10000 over the weekend, you won’t be awarded a couple of pounds for the first part of the week, you will gain weight, because you’ve gone over your calories, and this is something that people don’t understand.
It’s why so many people swear they’re doing the right things and promise they aren’t overeating, but still struggle to lose weight despite their best efforts and it’s all down to the fact that they limit themselves so much that they induce real hunger, and when that happens the only thing left to do is eat, whether they are aware and acknowledge it or not.
Where to Go From Here
At this point you may be wondering what to do next, especially if you’re a person that has tried many different types of diets without success, you may be questioning what options you have left, well don’t worry, there is still hope.
The first thing you need to do is set some realistic goals, stop aiming to lose 4, 5, or 6lbs a week, and start aiming for smaller targets. Losing 0.5-1% of your body fat is generally accepted as a manageable goal and that is where you should start. Losing bigger amounts each week is unrealistic and greatly increases the likelihood of you regaining the weight again in the future.
Next, you should start an exercise program to ensure you’re covering all your bases to be successful. Although exercise does not carry the same benefits that dieting can, it does give you a chance to improve aspects of your physique and improve your health overall.
Last but not least you need to find a way of eating that agrees with you and is both sustainable and comfortable. The preferred method is calorie counting as it gives you a complete view over what goes into your body, so long as you do it correctly.
Just remember, the goal is to set a calorie target that doesn’t leave you feeling starved and doesn’t have you feeling like you’re going to snap. A nutrition program that has been cleverly designed and planned in advance to ensure you eat well, without going over your limit, will leave you feeling nourished, happy, and full, plus it will also lead to you losing weight.
The cold hard truth of the matter is that if you’re in a calorie deficit you will lose weight, and 9/10 times if you’re not, the culprit is your food.
If you think you’re doing everything right, if you think you’re eating well, if you think you’re tracking accurately I urge you to check again, because even if you don’t believe it, there will be something wrong.
On top of that if you swear that you’re not eating too many calories and you’re actually eating a very low amount, but you’re still not losing weight, then something is definitely going wrong and you need to reassess your approach.
There’s no shame in getting it wrong or in starting over, but the good news for you is even after all this time, it is still possible to lose weight, get back on track, and finally get the body of your dreams.