If you want to lose weight, conventional wisdom will tell you that it’s simple: just eat less. Less food means burning more calories than you’re consuming, and that’s where weight loss happens. Sure, you may be hungry and tired for a while, but if you can suck it up it will all pay off. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? We know how frustrating it is to cut calories (all the while feeling hungry, grumpy, and fatigued) just to see minimal weight loss, or lose a few pounds just to gain it back a week or two later.
We’ve been working with nutrition clients for several years now, and a surprisingly high number of our new clients need to eat more in order to lose weight and body fat. What that conventional wisdom about eating less fails to acknowledge is that our bodies are intricate, and don’t always follow a straightforward formula. For example, our bodies are naturally good at sensing when we are in danger. And when we severely restrict food intake, our body responds by slowing down our metabolism. It’s a survival response developed thousands of years ago. Our ancestors didn’t have Instacart, and they couldn’t go to the local supermarket to pick up more food when the cabinets were empty. They had to hunt and gather their food. When the hunting wasn’t good they might go for long periods of time without eating much at all. Their bodies adapted by conserving the fuel it had (aka slowing down their metabolism). Fast forward to today, and our bodies don’t recognize the difference between natural and self-inflicted periods of starvation. This is the reason why most fad diets fail. You’re not giving your body what it needs to operate efficiently, and it can be difficult to know exactly what those needs are.
When we tailor each person’s nutrition plan, we are recognizing the complexity of the human body. Not only do we help them meet their fat loss goals, but we also work to keep them feeling and performing at their best in the process! We do this by creating plans that are customized based on each client’s current weight, body type, body fat percentage, and activity level. For many of our clients that means eating more food.
One of our most recent clients (we’ll call him Mario) had lost 15lbs but then his progress plateaued. He complained that he was frequently tired and no amount of sleep seemed to be helping. Upon assessment, we realized that Mario was only eating about 1100 calories per day and his macronutrient ratios were nowhere near optimal. Over the last 3 months we’ve gradually made some changes in Mario’s food choices, and got him eating closer to 2000 calories per day. Not only is he more energetic (and performing better in school and his workouts) he’s also down an additional 20 pounds and 4.1% body fat in that time! Simply “eating less” was not helping Mario, and was actually preventing him from working toward his goals.
Nutrition can be super confusing, and even frustrating at times! But the professionals at Henosis Health and Fitness have a proven track record and look forward to helping you conquer your fat loss goals!