Greetings all – it’s Claire here – with a topic very close to my heart.
We’d hazard a guess that a majority of you will think the title of this blog sounds like nonsense….how can we seriously suggest the reason you’re not losing fat is you’re not eating enough?
Frequently, when we approach this with clients, we get quite a spikey response. It’s a cross between distrust, cynicism and fear.
- Because they have the belief that eating less = losing weight (or body fat)
- Because they have the belief that eating breakfast kick starts the body’s ‘hunger gremlin’, making it want more food throughout the day. So they don’t have it.
- Because they have the belief that if they deprive the body of breakfast- having fasted for hours, it will tap into the fat stores.
- Because they have the belief that health, fitness and body goals can be ‘bought’ from the next faddy diet
- And finally, because, after years of yo yo dieting and quick fixes, they believe those things are the only option to staying ‘thin’ and that eating normally makes them ‘fat’
All of the above, I have thought. I spent my entire twenties having a sugar free hazelnut soya wet latte from Starbucks for breakfast for goodness sake! I was afraid to eat breakfast after years of yo yo dieting and I was killing the cardio in the gym. And so many clients we see are doing and thinking the same way.
So why’s it so bad you may ask?
Firstly – not fuelling your body will make you tired, irritable, more prone to illness and lacking in energy. Not overly pleasant for those around you. Plus if you do a taxing job, concentrating will be a problem – the brain needs fuel!
Secondly, if you’re not feeding your body enough, it will think it’s in survival mode. It won’t know when the next meal is coming, so your body will hold onto fat (this is a caveman thing!) When you eat ‘properly’ again after the yo yo dieting, the body will desperately hang onto the fat, in case you starve it again. This is layman terms, but the simpler the message, the easier it is for you to digest (pardon the pun!)
Thirdly, recent research shows that the metabolism gets ‘confused’ when you don’t feed it regularly. In brief – it becomes less flexible at switching between burning fat and carbohydrates. This leads to insulin resistance, building up sugars in the body, which can eventually lead to Type II Diabetes. Not to mention that your metabolic rate slows down when we restrict our food intake – so that when you do eat ‘normally’ again, it doesn’t burn through the energy so quickly – encouraging the body to lay down fat.
So eating less does not necessarily equal losing weight – IN THE LONG TERM. Especially if your body has been yo-yo dieting for years.
If you’re reading this and you’ve hit stalemate with your body and health goals, look at you’re eating. Or not eating. Look at the pattern of behavior. The all or nothing approach works for a while, but eventually your body will fight back.
It’s important to note that I’m just touching the tip of the iceberg here. It’s a complex topic and of course depends on the individual. But with my past experiences and what we see time and again with clients, I thought it was right to shine a light on the fact that some of you out there might not be eating enough.
And finally I would like to say – rebalancing your body so you can eat ‘normally’ (not 800 calories a day!) will take patience. It will take trust that over time, eating decent, nutritious meals won’t make you ‘fat’. It will take commitment to allow your metabolic rate to reprogram – through diet and training combined. Maybe you’ll need some support and expert advice. But if you know what you’re doing isn’t working and some of what’s written here speaks to you, it’s worth the effort to change.
Very soon, James and I will be launching a way to support you, advise you and inspire you. It will be accessible to everyone and we can’t wait to share it with you.
Until then, you can watch our latest Facebook Live that reveals 3 reasons you’re not reaching your body goals:
One of which looks at breakfast of course!
We’d love to reach out to more people so feel free to share this with someone who might need it.