Most of the time when you’re having trouble losing weight, it’s not because you aren’t making good food choices but because you are not eating enough calories.
When most people start living a healthy lifestyle to lose weight , they slash their calories and add a large amount of exercise to their routine.
That’s fine, but they usually cut their calories too low….Add in the extra exercise, and you have an extreme calorie deficit that is working against you!
Not eating enough calories causes many drastic metabolic changes.
Your body is a smart machine and senses the decrease in dietary energy. Your large calorie deficit might work for a few weeks, but eventually your body will wake up and sound alarms that it needs to CONSERVE the available energy.
It doesn’t want to just waste away because it needs that energy (fat) to survive.
So, what does your body do when it senses prolonged energy restriction by not eating enough calories??
- Slows down thyroid production: Your thyroid is responsible for fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism. Your body has the ability to slow down thyroid output in an effort to maintain energy balance.
- Decreases muscle mass – Muscle is highly calorie intensive to maintain. In a prolonged calorie deficit, it is one of the first things that your body looks to get rid of. Your body needs the fat and wants the fat, and muscle can and will be spared. It breaks down the muscle tissue and uses it for energy instead of using the fat! (exactly what you don’t want)
- Lowers testosterone levels – An very important hormone for both men and women, testosterone is one of many hormones that are affected with severe calorie restriction. Without it, it becomes very hard to maintain muscle tissue and put on muscle mass.
- Decreases leptin levels – Leptin is one of the energy regulating hormones. It is a “hunger” hormone that tells you whether to eat or not. High leptin levels signal that it’s OK to stop eating, while low leptin levels signal to eat more energy. Because of this, leptin levels decrease in calorie restricted environments.
- Decreases energy levels – There are many physical actions your body takes when you’re not eating enough calories, but there are also some mental ones. Neurotransmitter production becomes limited and it can lead to a lack of motivation. It’s your body’s way of telling you to “slow down” – conserve your energy.
Bottom line, you need to be mindful of your eating habits and get into the mind set of fueling your body for energy.
Not eating enough and exercising like an insane person is not the answer to a healthier you!
Eat with the purpose of fueling yourself in order to get a great workout in and lose all the weight that you want!
Find out here how many calories you need to eat per day!
Ciao for now!