Eat more to lose more

· July 11, 2016 · 5 minutes to read

Yes you did read that right. Obviously there are some caveats that come with this.

Generally speaking the majority of people out there are calorie deficient meaning that they’re eating less calories or energy than they’re expending. Now your logical brain will be saying “this should mean that you lose weight and fat right?” For a short period yes this is true particularly with a change of routine either work load, commuting hours, or a new exercise routine.

Understanding calorie needs.

Your body will expend a certain amount of energy just to stay alive and run your organs as they need to work let’s say this function takes 1000 calories. That 1000 calories is what’s known as your BMR (basal metabolic rate) now on top of your minimum requirement you need to perform your normal daily tasks, get out of bed, shower, get dressed commute to work, do you work, get to the gym, commute home, cook dinner and the list goes on. That work load now puts your calorie demand up for arguments sake let’s say you’ve now burnt through 3000 calories of energy. But you’ve only eaten 1500 calories all day this leaves you with a deficit of 1500 calories that your body needs to maintain all your functions and optimise your weight or fat loss.

“Eating more of the right kind of calories will make you lose weight and fat!”

When you’re in calorie deficit you’ll lose weight and fat but too much of a deficit also means you can lose lean muscle which will lower your ability to burn fat. Other issues with not eating enough are that your thyroid function (metabolism) slows down (down regulates) and doesn’t burn as fast. This means that a low meal frequency, skipping meals and low calories overtime can mean that your body actually goes into a kind of mini starvation mode. When you hit this stage your body then starts to become metabolically stressed, with metabolic stress comes a whole host of issues. Too many to mention all of them and explain what they are in 1 blog post. But some major ones to be aware of are insulin resistance (pre curser for diabetes), leaky gut, lower testosterone production which leads to its own health issues, oestrogen dominance and ulcers to name just a few of the onset conditions that can arise from being metabolically stressed.

Understanding your needs.

Now back to calories, the three main things I look for in a client and setting their diet out is 1. How often are they eating 2. What type of food are they eating, Natural high turnover (goes off) food or slow turnover (never really goes off) food 3. What cravings can I spot?

I look at how often a person is eating to see how meal frequency might be impacting thyroid function as well as if they’re fuelling properly for their daily activity. The importance of low or high turnover foods is that high turnover foods contain enzymes in them that will make digesting them easier. Low turnover foods are things like when you see a burger that’s been left for a whole year and there is not 1 bit mould on it. Your digestive system has to work incredibly hard to breakdown that food in order to get the little nutrition that actually contained in them. The more pressure you’re putting your digestive system under by eating that low turnover food the more you’re likely to be feeding inflammation, metabolic stress and increasing your resistance to insulin. With food cravings based on the type of food that a client is going for I will know what kind of state their gut is in and whether or not they’re producing enough of a certain neurotransmitter or if they’re majorly stressed.

The meat and bones, how you can eat more and lose weight and fat with a few provisos.

Point number 1.

You can’t expect to eat more food (even good food) and expect to lose weight without adding in more activity. A very simple rule of thumb is if you’re going to eat less, do less, if you’re going to eat more, then do more.

Point number 2.

Know where you’re starting from, it’s no good shooting for 3000 calories a day A, if you don’t need them and B, you’re starting from 800. Increase calories in small increments daily like 200 extra calories a day for a week above your normal intake. Then the following week add 200 more per day for a week and following that pattern of feeding means that your body will respond better to small changes over time, especially when it comes to food volume intake. This will ask your thyroid to do just a little more each day rather than asking it to burn an extra 2200 calories a day, it won’t cope. Caveat! If you’re at a starting point of 5000 calories a day from low turnover foods then in this case I’d be looking to reduce calories, but again not with a sudden drop, by maybe drop 1-2 meals or 400-500 calories a day client depending. It’s massively important you know the starting point and if you need less, more or different calories going in. The best way to know this is to book a consultation with me or seek out a personal trainer near you that has experience and can prove to you their diet strategies work. If you’re eating the right amount of calories but you’re not losing weight or fat then we need to look at the type of calories and the ratio’s that are being fed to your body.

Point number 3.

Be prepared, I don’t mean cooking your whole weeks’ worth of food on a Sunday night and sticking it in the fridge or freezer. It’s not realistic to do around your already busy lifestyle. What I mean is be prepared to spend a little more money on food looking for organic meats and veggies. Be prepared to cook a little more, be prepared to change what you’re going to eating. You can’t keep the cake in your diet because it “fits your macro’s” This means that if you have a carbohydrate, fat and protein allowance per day and your cake fits your carb allowance. Remember that all the food you eat contains information once it’s been digested it will tell your cells what to do with it, store fat, burn fat, grow hair, strengthen nails, heal that scab etc. So calories in vs calories out is ok if you’re eating clean, but when you start bending rules around macro allowance you won’t lose fat or weight. So being prepared is about embracing change, possibly bulk buying meats from your local butcher, understanding how your plate should look see the Instagram feed @360_fitness_coaching for meal ideas and calorie breakdowns.

Point number 4.

Enjoy your food. Make meals from fresh meat and veggies and you really can’t go far wrong. Use spices and flavours from around the world to jazz up your food and have some fun with it.

That’s going to be it about eating more to lose more, the main takeaways are

  • Know your start point by making a food diary and knowing where you are in terms of calories in and how many you need as a base level
  • A quick loose base level (certainly not specific) calories guide is maintenance of weight 14-15 calories per lb of body weight, fat loss 10-12 calories per lb of body weight, lean mass gain 18-20 calories per lb of body weight
  • If you need to increase calories do so slowly by 200 calories a day 1 week at a time
  • Have more high turnover foods  that will go off (obviously eat them before this point) because they are less stressful for your digestive system
  • Smaller meals more frequently will help balance out thyroid function and insulin production
  • Keep your food simple but tasty using spices, base your meals around meat/fish and greens

For more details contact me directly on [email protected] and we can discuss how you can eat more, do more and lose more.

Much Love, Dean.



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