THE PROBLEM WITH CALORIE CUTTING AND HOW IT CAN HURT YOUR PROGRESS
Excuse this snapchat pic, but it too accurately depicts exactly what I’m trying to get across. For a very long time (we’re talking years), I was religious about doing 6+ hours of cardio per week and eating less than 1200 calories a day, but was always left wondering WHY in the world I wasn’t losing weight. I always came to the same conclusion- I must be eating too much. Better slash some more calories.
There are a number of things wrong with the approach I was taking to losing weight, #1 being that I was absolutely tanking my metabolism, and #2 being that I was incorporating zero strength training into my exercise routine. So if drastically slashing calories and doing hours of cardio aren’t the answer, what is??
When we look at fat loss, in theory, decreasing caloric intake and increasing exercise sounds like the logical way to go about it, but in practice it doesn’t always work that way.While we need to have a caloric deficit to lose body fat, it can’t be simplified down to “calories in vs. calories out.” Our bodies are complex and adaptive and this can make trying to lose fat a huge pain in the a$$.
Because our bodies are so adaptive, when you decrease your calories, your body will respond by slowing down your metabolism. When you drastically cut your caloric intake over and over for extended periods of time (hello, yo-yo dieting), you will slowly wreak havoc on your metabolism, making it harder to achieve the goal you’ve set out to achieve.
UM WHAT? So if we can’t eat too much and we can’t eat too little, what are supposed to do????
You have to cut your calories for fat loss, but it’s BE SMART about it: for the typical person, this would mean a decrease of 250-400 calories a day from your normal intake.
I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING: “but Krissy, if I only cut between 250-400 calories a day, this is going to take FOR-EV-ER.”
Stay with me. It’s tempting to jump right in and cut 600,700, 800 calories every day, but that is very much like putting a band aid on a broken leg. A few weeks down the road, your metabolism is going to start slowing down, your workouts are going to feel sluggish, and your progress is going to stall. If you want it to last, you gotta go slow!
STRENGTH TRAIN AND HIIT
Speaking of metabolism, did you know there is a fantastic, wonderful way to amp yours up?
If you’re not already incorporating strength training and high-intensity training (HIIT) into your workout routine, they are both a MUST. After consistently doing them 2-3 times a week for a year, I was eating 2000-2500 calories a day (that’s double what I was previously eating) AND I was leaner than ever before.
How does this work you ask? 1. Strength training builds muscle, which burns more calories. 2. High-intensity training causes an “after-burn” effect, so your body burns extra calories for up to 24-hours AFTER you’ve finished your workout. These are free calories people- what are you waiting for!
To summarize: weight-lifting and HIIT = more food and less body fat.
STICK WITH IT
Real results require consistency and patience. Make strength training and HIIT a priority, fuel your body properly, and you WILL see the results of your hard work. PINKY PROMISE.
If you’ve been training harder and still aren’t seeing the results you want, we can help- Contact us today!