Most people think you have to stop eating to lose weight, but that’s not the answer at all. In fact, if you try to avoid eating in hopes of losing weight and getting in shape, you’re sadly mistaken.
By not eating the necessary amount of calories each day, you’re not only going to lose most of whatever muscle you do have, but you’re also putting yourself at risk of nutrient deficiencies as well as other serious health problems.
Your Calorie Maintenance Level
Your calorie maintenance level tells you the number of calories you need to eat each day in order to maintain your current weight. You need to eat this many calories in order to keep your body functioning properly and neither gain or lose weight. Even skipping just 100 calories can significantly affect your weight and general health, especially over time, which is why it’s so helpful for most people to monitor weight and track calories and macros. This way you know exactly how many calories you’re burning each day and how many you’re taking in, and ensuring your body is getting the nutrients it needs to strive.
What Happens When You Don’t Eat Enough
Here’s what happens – when you don’t eat enough, your body enters a state of “starvation mode”, which can actually prevent you from losing weight. It won’t end up causing you to gain weight, so long as you’re creating a caloric deficit, you will lose weight.
The issue here is that this starvation response will cause serious problems. That includes slowing down your metabolic rate, which is the last thing you want to do if your goal in the first place is losing weight. It can also result in binge eating, because it causes intense hunger cravings, which means you’ll probably end up taking in more calories overall than you should be, so you end up gaining weight and completely missing your goal on this one.
The Right Way
If your goal is to lose weight, and there are many people out there right now who have that as their goal, don’t clutter your mind with all the different diets, trends and tips out there. There’s just one piece of information you need to know – to create a caloric deficit.
The only way you can lose weight is with a caloric deficit, so you’re taking in fewer calories than you’re burning each day. Just remember not to be drastic and stop eating altogether. You should only eat 500 fewer calories than your calorie maintenance level at the most in order to safely drop those pounds over time. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Even without any exercise at all, you would lose weight so long as you have that caloric deficit. Of course, with regular cardio and strength training exercise fit in, you are not just going to lose weight, but also get in the best shape of your life and eventually build muscle if that’s your goal. (Once you reach your desired weight, you can simply start eating those extra 500 calories a day so you’re fulfilling your daily calorie maintenance needs, and you can more effectively build muscle once you’re out of that deficit.
So in closing, remember that it is absolutely essential that you eat enough. If you don’t, you are wreaking havoc on your body and in particular, destroying your metabolism. You will not achieve your goal of weight loss simply by starving yourself of calories. Your body needs a certain number of calories to stay healthy, so make sure you meet those needs. The only way to safely lose weight is by knowing your calorie maintenance level, and then simply eating 500 or fewer calories than that number.
Even if you have struggled with your weight all your life, or have a lot of weight to lose and you’re worried it will never happen, it’s important to realize that anyone can lose weight and get in shape. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you weigh, what you do for a living; as long as you know what you’re taking in and putting out in terms of energy (calories) each day, you can drop that weight and get in the best shape of your life.