If you’ve been through the phase of cutting calories and hitting the gym more often to lose weight, only to find yourself staring at the same or a higher number on the scale….well, you’re not alone.
Why does this happen? Weight loss should simply be about burning more energy than you put in, right??
Well, not exactly.
I wish it were that simple, truly. But we have to start realizing that our bodies do not operate like “simple calories in vs. calories out” calculators.
Because here’s the thing – if our bodies did work this way…and hear me out on this…you would NOT be struggling to lose weight right now. I can imagine you are already really great at being mindful of your calories and also really good at getting your workouts in. Your persistence and dedication are not the issues. It’s the approach.
And if you have had a doctor or trainer tell you that YOU are the problem, well that simply is not true. (I hope you know that)
Here’s how I recommend you lose weight instead:
First, think about your metabolism like a biology project.
Yes, truly. It’s a complex project with several areas that need time and attention. These areas include:
Lean muscle tissue
They all play a role in supporting optimal metabolic health and the ability to successfully lose weight long term. Do you see how it’s MUCH more than simply “eat fewer calories” and “burn more calories”?
This is a beautiful ecosystem we’re talking about.
If you put all your eggs into the eating right basket, but you’re only getting 5-6 hours of sleep and running on cortisol all day from stress….the scale is not going to work with you.
Similarly, if you’re doing lots of strength training and moving often, but you’re not eating foods to keep your digestion or hormones healthy (no matter the calories), weight loss resistance is expected.
We have to expand our weight loss perspective to include all of these important areas because they truly do all work together to create a happy, healthy metabolism that wants to burn fat and maintain a healthy weight.
If you want to know a lot more about all the ins and outs of your metabolism for weight loss, I highly recommend you join us for Metabolism Makeover soon and get on the waitlist now.
Next, you need to be eating enough (no excuses)
I have another analogy for you: your metabolism is like a car with a fuel tank. It needs enough gas in the tank to get you from point A to point B.
So, with that being said, why do we approach weight loss by putting less gas in the tank and still expecting our metabolic “car” to get us from point A to point B? It’s just not going to happen. Shortcuts have to be made.
So what does this mean for your body? It catches on that it’s not getting enough fuel. The best shortcut is to reduce the amount of energy burned by the metabolism. The body must reserve all extra energy to compensate for the reduced energy intake (AKA keep you functioning even though you’re eating way fewer calories).
When this happens, fat loss is put on the back burner. It has no choice. The metabolism needs to be happy and adequately fueled to go above and beyond to do something like burn fat. It’s just not going to happen when it has to reserve energy to keep your brain going, your muscles moving, etc.
We see this all the time in women who reduce their calorie intake to roughly 1,200-1,500 calories. Most women (especially those of reproductive age), need at least 2,000 calories a day to support their baseline needs and extra activity. A significant calorie cut is a direct signal to the body to slow down the metabolic rate….meaning no more fat burn!
What to do instead? Fuel the body properly!
We teach you exactly how to do this inside Metabolism Makeover, and believe it or not, we do it without having you track or count any calories. (I know 🤯)
Stop exercising for the calorie burn.
I know it’s a big mental shift, but getting out of the “exercising for a high calorie burn” game will be a big step in the right direction.
Instead of focusing on burning as many calories as possible during your workout, it’s in your best interest to focus on building lean muscle tissue instead. Why is this?
If you hit the treadmill or elliptical every time you go to the gym (probably because you can burn 500+ calories doing it), you’re not doing yourself any other favors. You’re going to significantly increase your appetite and you’re not helping your body accumulate new muscle tissue. This means your metabolic rate stays the same.
On the other hand, if you spend your gym time on strength training (heavy weights btw), your return on investment is going to be much higher. Even though your calorie burn during the workouts will be lower (because your heart rate isn’t as high), long term you are increasing your metabolic rate because you’re building more muscle tissue. This means you burn more calories at rest without doing anything during the day and THIS is what helps you burn fat and lose weight successfully.
What I’m trying to say is that I want you to stop caring about how many calories you burn during a workout and start caring about what you’re doing to support your muscle growth.
You’re not increasing your metabolism doing cardio or HIIT training sessions and it’s a lot of unnecessary stress to the body. Prioritizing strength training isn’t a high calorie burner in the moment, but it is long-term, and it’s seriously underrated for weight loss.
There’s SO much more to be said about this topic, but I hope this helps you start to understand that “eat less, exercise more” is simply not a good strategy for healthy and long-term weight loss. And to be more specific, this means not struggling with your weight going up and down anymore. Your metabolism is happy and easily maintains a healthy weight.
It really is not too good to be true, and your body is capable of reaching this place.