We've all heard that calories in versus calories out is all that matters .
And if we want to lose weight , we need to eat less and create that calorie deficit , however , more is not better , especially when it comes to creating a calorie deficit .
If we eat too little , we can actually hinder ourselves from seeing the weight loss results and the lean aesthetic that we want .
Because as much as your goal may be weight loss , you want fat loss and fat loss can't be rushed by eating less .
Actually , forcing an extreme deficit may be why we're even gaining weight while undereating , not to mention losing muscle instead of just focusing on fat loss .
I'm gonna break down what happens when we under eat and why cycling ratios over cutting calories is key .
And then I wanna go into how to create the appropriate deficit for your needs and goals and why we may actually need to retrain our body to eat more before we can focus on cutting .
The simple fact of the matter is our body fights weight loss .
The reason we need a calorie deficit to lose weight is because we need to force our body to use its own energy stores to fuel .
When we have less energy coming in , then we need to fuel our activity and survival .
We utilize stored energy .
This is how we lose weight by using stored glycogen and mobilizing fat stores to fuel .
However , our body wants to maintain balance , even if that balance isn't necessarily healthy or ideal .
And the longer we've been at a certain weight or above our ideal , the more our body doesn't want to change from that point , our body wants to resist change .
It wants to protect our fuel stores .
It wants to avoid starving , which is why it fights against the weight loss process .
It's scared when we go into that deficit and start consuming less and this even happens when we do it the healthy way with a small deficit , nutrient dense foods and macro ratios match to our needs and goals .
Now , what happens in an extreme deficit ?
And why can it backfire when you try to create a more extreme deficit and slash your calories extra low .
You may see results faster to start .
Initially , your body immediately is depleted and needs to tap into energy stores .
However , your body adapts as quickly as it can to avoid this extreme deprivation , impacting overall survival .
While annoying for our weight loss efforts .
This is a natural protection response when our body is continually underfed Grein increases , which is the hormone that triggers hunger , particularly for sweet and fatty foods .
While leptin decreases , which is the hormone that regulates energy intake by telling the brain to stop eating , we also start to expend less energy to conserve our stores .
So even if you're trying to train harder to lose weight , you may find your workouts suffer and your output decreases .
Even if you do manage to train hard and push through our bodies compensate by actually starting to burn fewer calories at rest , not to mention under fueling , especially if you aren't conscious at all of macros , very quickly leads to muscle loss and losing muscle only further slows our resting metabolic rate .
Basically , we suffer from metabolic adaptations that allow us to function on the reduced calories , which ultimately means that us starving ourselves with 900 calories a day becomes all our body thinks it needs to survive as it regulates all their functioning to match the intake you're giving it .
It leads to us not losing weight while undereating and feeling the need to slash our calories lower to get results .
It also leads to us feeling extra hungry .
And when we then do overeat , we ultimately store this energy as fat because our body doesn't need it to fuel .
It's adapted to the lower calories despite the hunger signals .
So now the question is , have you destroyed your metabolism ?
And the short answer is not permanently .
Yes , you've created metabolic adaptations , but these can be reversed .
Will it take time and be uncomfortable and require you to sometimes go backwards with your results before you move forwards .
Unfortunately , yes .
But if you don't take the time to reverse these adaptations , you're going to keep undereating and still gaining , you're going to keep perpetuating the same cycle and not move forward while it's hard to go against things .
We've always been taught , like , eat less to weigh less .
We've got to take a step back and actually eat more to reverse the metabolic damage .
It's the only way and yes , it may lead to you gaining weight to start .
But a this could be muscle , you're actually starting to gain , which will ultimately help your metabolic rate and lead to better results faster .
And b you've got to allow your body time to return to hormonal balance to then move forward if you ever want to see progress and maintain those results , long term .
So as sucky as it is to honestly take actions , you know , may move you further away from your goal to start .
It's the only way ultimately to move forward and see results .
So how do you get yourself out of the cycle of starvation and retrain your body to eat more ?
Variations of the retraining process are called reverse dieting depending on your mindset with it all .
And how many big changes you feel you can handle at once you may start by just adjusting your macros before you even touch your calories , you'll first want to start by tracking what you're currently doing no matter what this will allow you to make accurate adjustments based on your needs and goals .
So you might just start by adjusting your macros at your current calorie intake , increasing your protein even .
And then as you dial that ratio in , you may begin to start adding 100 calories at a time increasing your intake .
While a lucky few may actually see weight loss during this process , especially with the ratio change .
Many will see weight steadily creep on even multiple pounds in the first few days .
With the calorie bump , this will slow and you've got to trust the process most of the time will seek to increase by at least 500 calories from your starting point .
Maintaining that for a week or two .
Before you even consider recreating the deficit , you wanna adjust your macros as you increase to help you use this extra fuel to build muscle and balance out your hormones .
You'll wanna focus on a higher protein ratio to get the benefit from the stomach effect to avoid gaining as much unwanted fat as possible .
Once you've gone through this retraining process and taught your body to use more calories to fuel , you'll then be able to create a small deficit , making adjustments of 100 calories at a time .
You'll also at that point , want to adjust your macros to focus more on weight loss , to help kickstart those results .
While the process I outlined is only 100 calories at a time and much slower in nature .
It doesn't lead to as much weight being gained on the scale .
If you're ready to just go all in , you might find , you can actually bump your calories faster , but this does often lead to more massive jumps on the scale to start .
So you have to be aware of that .
The other downside is , our body doesn't like change and these increases can lead to bloating or shifts in our energy .
These can often go away quickly .
But we want to be aware of this .
If we are making changes more rapidly , neither approach is really right or wrong .
But we just have to be aware of how mentally we're gonna be impacted by the process and how far we really have to go in retraining our body and also our appetite and activity level .
The more active and hungrier we are , the easier it will be to increase quickly .
If you have less of an appetite and are less active , it can be harder to increase calories dramatically all at once .
Making the slower increase is more beneficial .
It's key though , we're aware that we will have to take a step back and feel like we're even losing ground to retrain our body so that we can then use that deficit to actually lose weight .
Now , if you're thinking , I'm too old for this menopause is really messed with my metabolism and I can do this , this is actually even more important the older we get .
And when we have those hormonal changes occur as much as retraining .
Our bodies is hard and uncomfortable and will lead to weight gain during menopause .
We need to do it now to set ourselves up for long term success .
During menopause , our appetite may actually increase as our metabolic rate slows throw in under fueling and overtraining in our attempt to reverse the menopausal weight gain .
And we have a recipe for a disaster .
So as hard as it can be , when you're already seeing the scale increase , it's increasingly important .
You embrace the learning process to eat more , eating more and dialing those macros will preserve your lean muscle mass and even help you build muscle .
This is essential as we get older as it becomes harder to build and retain lean muscle , which is part of why our metabolism slows with age .
If you're under fueling , you put yourself at greater risk for muscle mass loss , which can not only impact your quality of life but lead to a whole host of other issues including greater risk for fracture .
It can also make the weight loss process more and more of a struggle as we get older .
So do what you can as soon as you can and realize that with getting older and going through menopause learning to fuel correctly and eat more is even more key .
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