Should I Eat Less To Lose More? Wilmington's Best Personal Training Studio Explains Nutrition for Weight Loss

Should I Eat Less To Lose More?

I hear this all the time. “It seems like a lot of food. Shouldn’t I be eating less if I want to lose weight?”

The answer, of course, is a little bit more complicated than just yes or no. The math behind losing weight is simple, you have to have a deficit of 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat. So, it seems obvious that to take in 3500 fewer calories, you must cut back, right?

The truth: Not really. The real key to losing weight - and keeping it off - is to increase your metabolic rate (your metabolism). Your metabolic rate is the amount of energy expended (calories burned) when you are at a complete rest and you are not actively digesting food.  The higher your resting metabolism, the easier it is for you to lose weight and keep it off.

Here’s the crazy part. Weight loss from drastic dieting actually lowers your metabolic rate – perhaps permanently!! So even though you may lose weight by drastically cutting back your food intake, the long term effect is a lower functioning metabolism…meaning you will have to work harder in the future to get the same results. That also means that trying the same diet you had success with previously, will be less likely to work next time (or at least not as well).

Don’t believe me?

A recent study conducted by Dr. Kevin Hall, an expert on metabolism at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, followed several contestants from the hit T.V. series The Biggest Loser over a 6-year period. They found that not only were the contestants’ metabolic rates considerably lower at the end of the show, but “as the years went by and the numbers on scale climbed, the contestants’ metabolisms did not recover.” The worst case was a contestant by the name of Mr. Cahill. “As he regained more than 100 pounds, his metabolism slowed so much that, just to maintain his current body weight, he now has to eat 800 calories a day less than a typical man his size. Anything more turns to fat.”

What’s the takeaway from this?

Restrictive diets that cut too many calories are not the answer! Weight loss is best achieved through a structured plan consisting of moderate calorie cut backs and exercise. It’s a less sexy answer, I’ll give you that much. But at the end of the day, what’s the goal? Is it just to get the ideal number on the scale? Or is it to adopt a lifestyle that sets you up for a lifetime of better fitting clothes, improved health, and an enjoyable relationship with your food?


Need a little help putting a plan together that will actually recharge your eating habits? You're in luck because our upcoming TakeDown Challenge begins next month! Click here for more details:

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