Q: DO YOU CUT CALORIES TOO LOW IN AN ATTEMPT TO LOSE BODY FAT?
Here's a few very important reasons why you shouldn't. 🚫
It can be very tempting to reduce food and calorie intake if you want to lose fat/change body composition for an upcoming holiday or if you just want to feel a bit better about yourself.
However without the right guidance people often reduce them too low and wonder why they're not losing body fat. Then when they see little or no results or a stall in body fat reduction, they will try to reduce even more thinking that they're still eating too much....plus will possibly add in exercise trying to burn more off.
Of course, it's a given that in order to reduce body fat we need to create some sort of calorie deficit by changing what we eat and burning excess fat off through exercise but too much and the result of this is that your body will go into what's known as "starvation mode"....or a better way of putting it would be "metabolic slowdown".
The human body needs a baseline amount of calories to carry out the functioning of organs and basically keep the body alive and breathing on a day to day basis. When it goes too far below this and slows down, the body's natural physiological response is to
protect itself by reducing calorie expenditure (energy burning) in an attempt to prevent starvation and keep enough energy to maintain the running of itself.
This is usually in the form of holding onto body fat, because in essence all it is is stored energy.
There are calculators out there which till tell you what your baseline calories should be but the truth is, not one size fits all.
Counting calories can also get you into an unhealthy relationship with your "diet". Here at MuscleFactory we focus more on the types, amounts and timing of each macronutrient...yes
if we set a diet plan we know how much protein/carbs/fats are in each meal but this is a all purely a reference so we know which way to go next depending on your goals and how you are reacting to the diet....and the key here is EDUCATION, and it's not that difficult either.
There is alot more to talk about regarding this subject but it isn't what I want to talk about here....we will touch on this in a future seminar.
What I want you to know is what could happen if we reduce calorie intake too far so that you don't "diet" the wrong way:
🔸 You can't keep up with the body's need for nutrient intake... carbs, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals are all needed for a healthy functioning body.
🔹 You will get too hungry...in starvation mode, one of the brains responses is to make you feel hungry so that you will feed it. What often happens then is you will get too hungry and binge feed putting you in an unhealthy cycle and right back where you started.
🔸 Risk losing muscle mass...in too much of a calorie deficit the body may prioritise the use of protein provided as a source of energy rather than for building and repairing muscle and other organs. In very severe calorie restriction the body will start to break down your muscle to use as an energy source creating muscle wastage.
🔹 The brain cannot function properly....ever felt slow and unfocussed when you're super hungry? Your mental ability can suffer when you're brain doesn't get the fuel it wants. This can lead to poor performance during work and daily activities, plus can sometimes make people rely heavily on stimulants such as caffeine to stay alert. It will also make you crave sugar and again lead to binge eating.
🔸 Overall energy will suffer... It's important to give your muscles the fuel they need. Too low
calories and your workouts will suffer....which in turn is also important for your fat loss goal and overall health.
🔹 Leads to long term unhealthy eating habits. Crash diets often don't last because they are simply too difficult to maintain and will often see you rebound and right back where you started.
🔸 Skin and hair can start to look unhealthy
🔹 Hormones become unbalanced and this can lead to a number of bodily functions not working properly ... plus more.
Too far either way, so too little food or too much food over a long term period can both cause harm.
Establishing healthy eating and exercise patterns to use for the rest of your life is the key to enjoying and maintaining a healthy body composition.
At MuscleFactory we want people to learn this and every member is entitled to free diet and training advice/plans....or if you simply want to pick our brains don't be afraid to approach myself or Chris to ask questions at any time.
Message us if you fancy a free non member week pass to try out the main gym, we have over 6,000sq/ft of floor space and a number of membership options plus have a couple of great fitness classes running.
See you soon