Everyone knows the saying,"Calories in, calories out." It has been proven over and over again that total caloric intake reigns king when it comes to your goals.
Less calories = weight loss
More calories = weight gain
These are the basics of dieting but what many people fail to realize is just how important it is that you DO NOT fall under the amount of calories your body needs to function.
We're not talking exercise or walking to the bathroom or opening the fridge we're talking doing the basic duties of living, breathing and existing.
I have had so many people come to and ask what they are doing wrong and why they can't lose weight. I ask them to lay out a couple things and all of them come to me with a caloric intake that is shocking. They are eating 600-800 calories a day, working out and working. They think they are doing the logical thing, eating less to lose more but the body isn't that simple. She is not a basic bi%$. She is highly sophisticated and expects to be treated properly before she gives you what you're asking for. Her needs need to be met first.
When you under eat initially you will lose some weight but soon after your body realizes it is not getting enough fuel to make the machine go so it shifts gears and slows down in order to use the little amount of calories that you are consuming as efficiently as possible.
Slowing your metabolism down is one of the most counterproductive things you can do in terms of weight loss and or fitness. Your body will adapt to this new caloric intake thus making it harder for you to lose any weight then you will have to reverse diet yourself out of a giant metabolism hole thus prolonging your original goal.
#2 BACK LASH
Remember when I said that your body is not basic and wants to be treated like the queen that she is? Well, often when we deprive ourselves too much, especially with workouts added in, our body will cry out to be fed in order to preform its normal duties as well as repair what you damaged through your workouts. The response hormonally will end in a binge that sets you back further than you would like. The hunger response will hit you so strong even those with the most self-control will come crashing down and eventually give in. The body is a beautiful machine and it needs to be fed properly or it will rebel.
#3 MONDAY EVERYDAY
Do you hate Monday's? Well if you aren't feeding your body enough to just breath and function internally do you think it's going to have energy to do anything more than that? You will lose all motivation to do anything and forget having the energy to workout, that is definitely not happening. You might last a week or so like this but you'll hit rock bottom soon after.
#4 FLINTSTONES CAN'T SAVE YOU HERE (90'S KID REFERENCE)
If anyone knows anything about the repercussions of under-eating it is me. To some on the journey of fitness and weight-loss oddly enough, health isn't a concern. Kind of contradictory but when you are chasing a number or look, health can often times be put on the back burner. I did it and well, I became severely anemic, super depressed, could barley get myself out of bed, sick all the time and well now I have Hashimotos. Don't do what I did. Don't put your health on the back burner. Under-eating will deprive you of all the necessary vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Slow progress is better than no progress and way better than being set back to square one trying to chase a fast result.
Take your time, enjoy the journey and don't overwhelm yourself and your body.
#5 WHERE'S THE PARTY AT?
I can tell you it isn't where under-eating is happening. My protein shake alone is 250 calories, if I were under-eating that's a good chunk of my calories. Try going to a party or hangout with friends and watching them eat delicious food while you eat lettuce and protein bars, it isn't fun and it definitely no way to live.
Let me paint a picture for you, you are at a party and on a diet. You already did your workout for the day, you scheduled leg day on the day of your party because you are smart and know legs give you the biggest burn for your buck, you ate on diet all day and at this party you indulge a little. The next day you wake up and maybe you gained 1 pound, but hey, it's water weight and no stress, you get right back at it. You had fun, you stuck to your goals but indulged too. No biggie you are still on track and winning. Guess what? This is the way to do it. This way you live life and still smash your goals. You get to have that cake and eat it too, or at least a slice cause diet right? Haha
So how do you figure out if you are under-eating?
First figure out your BMR. Your Basal Metabolic Rate AKA your base. There are a lot of calculators out there. I have had my BMR tested professionally and the calculator that comes closest to my professional results is this one.
Find your BMR and begin there. Remember this is the amount of calories your body needs to do absolutely nothing but exist. This is your base, now you can add more based on your activities/goals.
End note, DON'T UNDER EAT if you want to lose weight.