Hey Sassy Peeps!
This week in our coffee chat, Lindsay and I were chatting about what YOU (and me) are doing wrong in our weight loss journeys.
What? Who says we are doing anything wrong? Well maybe you aren’t doing it wrong…but MOST of us are struggling with this specific thing…and it’s actually causing us to stall or even GAIN weight.
So what is it? It has to be binge eating. Or wait…emotional eating! Or wait…not exercising – that’s gotta be it, right?
What most of us are actually doing wrong is…EATING TOO LITTLE!
“But wait, that’s insane Christina!” I can hear you now…”The magic to weight loss is calories in vs. calories out, so if I eat fewer calories, I will lose weight.” But that’s simply not true!!!
In the weight loss world we have been programmed to believe the fewer calories we consume (or the more calories we burn) the more weight we will lose, but this actually doesn’t work!
Sure, if you calorie restrict you will lose weight TEMPORARILY…but your weight loss will come to a screeching halt (and you may even regain some) when your body realizes that you are living in deprivation.
You see, your body needs a certain number of calories daily (we will come back to how many), just to run its daily functions. These are things like blinking, smiling, talking, digesting food…oh and BREATHING! It is said that an adult woman in a coma requires approximately 900 calories daily…just to run their INVOLUNTARY function…so since you’re reading this blog – I presume you aren’t in a coma – thus you require MORE than 900 calories per day – BEFORE exercise!
Most “healthy” weight loss plans say that an adult woman should never be below 1200 calories per day and that is without exercise again…so if you are adding any sort of movement you probably need more calories.
So how many calories do you need? Well, the only way to know that FOR SURE is to have a BMR test done (google BMR test in your city). A reputable BMR test is a lab test that will have you wear a mask and breath into it for about 30 minutes (measuring your Oxygen levels, etc.) This will give you the exact amount of calories your body needs at rest. Then you will be told how many calories for weight loss, and how many for maintenance.
If you can’t get in for a BMR test right away, you can do an online calculator…but remember those are VERY generic. Make sure you are at least putting in height, weight, age, and activity level (at the bare minimum) and be cautious any time a calculator tells you less than 1200 calories per day, as that will start to slow body functions (including METABOLISM!).
In order to get those calories UP – plan your day accordingly. For example, I am aiming for 2000 calories daily…and I eat 6-7 times per day, so each meal/snack should be approximately 285-333 calories. It takes time to get those calories raised. Aim to increase by approximately 100 calories per day (for about a week) and then try for more. Adding food to food (like adding peanut butter to a protein shake or chia seeds to oats, or avocado to a salad) are great ways to start bumping those calories.
Remember, keep those calories “clean” and focus on the end result – HEALTHY, SUSTAINABLE weight loss.