A few weeks ago, BodyRock Insider Siobhan P. posted something amazing—something we think everyone struggling to lose weight on a calorie restrictive diet should hear.
Eat, eat, eat! 👋
Make sure you're eating enough! I wasn't eating enough at 1,600 calories. I could not lose weight.
Imagine the panic at the words reverse diet. 😣😭
Less than 3 weeks in and my calories are now at 2,300 😱 and I've not only lost 6lb but I'm never hungry, have ooooodles of energy, caffeine consumption has decreased and my skin's so much healthier.
So, the message here is sometimes less isn't always beneficial, work out your calories according to your training and TDEE. It’s scary but trust the process.
So, she was losing weight by eating MORE. Yes. More.
Understandably, her claim puzzled some, leading to questions about how, exactly, this was possible. After all, aren’t you supposed to reduce calories to lose weight?
Well, yes. And then again, sometimes, no.
While there are people who will lose weight by reducing their calorie intake, some won't. Or some people may lose weight at first, and then have their weight loss stall out short of their goal. So, following conventional weight loss wisdom, you cut back your calories even more—and then...nothing. You don't lose a pound. In fact, you may have even gained weight. WTF, right? Your impotent rage is compounded by your perpetually state of hangriness.
We've been there. But heed the words of Siobhan and trust that eating more (healthy) food can help you lose weight.
Our bodies are super adaptable, and when you have been chronically cutting calories, your body enters a survival mode, and—to avoid wasting vital energy—it becomes extremely adept at maintaining your body's basic functions at this reduced energy level. In other words, your metabolism slows down. (If you're vague on what your metabolism is, exactly, you can read more about that here. In the meantime, understand that metabolism is essentially the process that converts food into energy.) Studies show that your metabolism can slow down by up to 23% when you eat too few calories (that’s generally considered around less than 1,200 calories a day for women or 1,800 for men.)
However, if you eat more, your metabolism will begin to operate at prime again, burning fat and not eating into your hard-won lean muscle mass for fuel—which it will, if you're chronically depriving yourself of food as fuel.
How to Eat Enough, But Not Too Much
And here's the crux, right? You want to eat enough to jumpstart your metabolism, but not to gain fat. To do this safely, at a rate of loss of about half a pound a week, start with this basic equation:
Your current weight x 11.
So, if you're 150 pounds, aim to eat a minimum of 1,650 good, clean calories per day. And heavy on the fact this is a minimum. Your activity level has not been factored into this equation. You'd want to bump up your calories by 200 calories per day if you're moderately active. More if you’re very active, HIITing it with us hardcore 5-6 days a week and living actively in addition to your workouts. It could be even more depending on your sex, age and your metabolic function (some of us naturally have more robust metabolisms than others.)
We know, we know: fat loss is frustrating AF you probably want definitive numbers, but we can't give you that in good confidence. Not here. We're writing to a big audience, and can only impart general guidance. If you want specific answers for your current body weight, age and activity level, you need a tailored plan. You're welcome to grab up our Nutrition Plan and Meal Guide for a more custom approach to your numbers, plus meal planning, recipes, food swaps and our top nutrition tips from our trainers. Otherwise, use the intel offered here as a place to start making changes to your diet to support your weight loss goals—because it works. It’s real, and your results will be real too if you use your patience, and above all, knowledge.
Have you lost fat eating MORE food? We want to hear about it! Share in the comments!
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