Weight loss is NOT a matter of eating less and exercising more. Over time that approach would backfire. Why? Eating too little while your body demands calories would have a few negative effects:
- muscle loss (because muscles need calories AND protein to be sustained)
- a slowed metabolism (due to the muscle loss and stress response)
- fat storage (you’re overdoing it, kiddo, so your body goes into starvation mode to preserve what it’s got)
- hunger. constant hunger due to the lack of protein, carbs, and the increased adrenaline output (you’re body is stressed with that much exercise)
- hormonal imbalances and bone loss – too much of anything can mess with your finely tuned hormonal household, something female athletes deal with
- lack of progress
So, what is the key to weight loss then? Well, most importantly, it’s not about the number on the scale. It’s about where your weight is coming from. If you’re 175 lbs and your body fat is 20%, then congratulations! You’re a lean mean muscle machine. If you’re 175 lbs with 30% body fat, then you’re at higher risk of dealing with health issues, such as blood sugar issues, blood pressure concerns, metabolic issues, a big waist line, low energy and inflammatory conditions. In essence, a low body fat percentage (lower than 24% for women and lower than 17% for men) is directly correlated with your health, how your body looks (defined vs. plump) and how you perform in every day life.
How do you get your body fat down? That’s entirely up to an effective combination of a clean diet, effective exercise (that includes both cardio and strength training in the right format – see Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp and Slim & Strong), and the right mindset. If you want to learn the ropes, join me for my next nutrition workshop, join Slim & Strong, or explore this blog for loads of free advice on how to get the job done. The right mindset – well, I will have something in store for you soon, so check back.
Here’s an email I received from one of my new Slim & Strong gals, who wants to lose 30 lbs. The way she went about it is ambitious, but not effective or will make her feel good. Take a look:
“Ariane, I wanted to send you my food diary from yesterday and hopefully get some good feedback from you. Last night’s class was extremely difficult for me because I felt so weak and dizzy, which I now realize looking at what I ate it’s because I didn’t eat nearly enough as a should have. I tried to do a bottle of water with each meal but after 3 bottles couldn’t drink anymore. Now I know to drink the water in between the meals and not with. My goal is to lose 30 pounds preferably by my birthday in Feb, and I know that won’t happen unless I’m following the right diet.
Breakfast 9am: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 cup of blueberries & strawberries. 1 fish oil pill. 1 bottle of water.
Snack 11:15am: protein shake.1 bottle of water.
Lunch 2:30pm: large bag of celery and grape tomatoes. 1 bottle of water.
Snack 4:30pm: small handful of unsalted almonds.
Dinner 8:30pm: large stir fry of assorted vegetables with olive oil.
Snack 11pm: 2 small garlic dill pickles.
no wonder you were exhausted. you didn’t eat nearly enough to even make it through the day.
Please pull up your nutrition calculations and you’ll see that what you need per meal is barely what you got in a day!
Make sure you aim for about 20g of protein 5x a day. That is key to keeping you full and making sure your metabolism stays high and you feed your muscle.
Too few carbs make you hungry, tired and make it hard to concentrate. Don’t fall below 100g of carbs per day or you’ll have a very hard time sticking to it feeling lousy. Your goal is to have between 25-30g of carbs per meal – 5x a day, so you missed that by a long shot. No surprise your workout suffered.
Take a look at your nutrient intake yesterday (attached). You’ll realize how you starved yourself, especially of protein, which can cause muscle loss – not what you want.
Let me see a better day with loads more veggies amd protein at every meal. Eat a great breakfast that has enough protein and plenty veggies.