You don’t need to earn your food, but you might need to earn your right to diet.
Before you get offended, let me explain.
Your Energy Requirement
We all have a basic energy requirement. It’s determined by multiple factors, including age, height, lean body mass, fat mass, basal metabolic rate, activity level, goals, etc. We’re all unique, and our requirements reflect this. Beyond biological factors, we also need to consider lifestyle factors such as culture, social life, food preferences, work schedule, family schedule and so on.
Because of the confusing and often incorrect information floating around regarding nutrition, people will often eat under their energy requirement to create a caloric deficit. And they’ll do this for very extended periods of time. This caloric deficit will usually help people lose weight initially. But eventually progress slows down, and they plateau, get frustrated, and return to their previous intake—often regaining all the weight they lost.
A few issues: We are creating some unfortunate results and developing some disordered behavior.
“If I just restrict calories, I’ll lose weight! It worked then, so I’ll do it again.”
But maybe this time you need to dip even lower in calories to experience any weight loss. This cycle repeats itself over and over again, and you have officially jumped on the diet yo-yo train.
This cycle can be related to a general reliance on caloric restriction or a desire to try a new next fad diet that you don’t realize creates a deficit by eliminating certain foods or food groups.
The next issue is losing muscle while cutting weight. Not all weight loss is equal. We don’t ever want to lose lean body mass. This directly impacts our metabolism. The more mass you carry, the more food you require. Muscle is an expensive tissue to maintain. If we’re just restricting calories and not paying attention to things like protein and weight training, we risk losing hard-earned muscle.
Achieving Long-Term Success
To experience long-term sustainable results that actually feel healthy, it’s best to approach fat loss from a place where you are actually fed. Eating at or even above your energy requirement allows you to then create a reasonable deficit while you maintain your muscle mass. This approach also produces adherence and consistency.
If you start trying to lose weight but your intake is already very restricted, or if you’ve been bouncing up and down for a while, you’re not in a good position to succeed.
In addition, we want you to learn some excellent nutrition habits along the way. We want you to learn sustainable practices such as how to source and prepare proteins you enjoy and how to batch cook. You can also learn how to make healthy meals for the whole family and which foods to eat before and after you train—and so much more. It’s all part of a healthy lifestyle.
Sometimes people make the decision that they want to lose weight, and we understand that. But it helps to work with a coach who will guide you through this process and educate you so you can experience the joy of long-term success. Ultimately, we want you to find success as you develop a healthy relationship with food and your body.
A good nutrition coach can’t always give you what you want right off the bat, but he or she shouldn’t be afraid to tell you what you need.