Have you hit a plateau in your fat loss? Maybe the scale hasn’t budged in a while, even though you feel like you’re already eating practically nothing. Why is this happening?
Let’s start by defining metabolism: metabolism is the sum of all the chemical processes that take place within your body to sustain life. In order to drive these processes, your body requires energy. You get this energy from food.
Maybe you’ve heard someone say “I just have a slow metabolism, I can’t lose weight.”
It is true that age, activity level and other factors can play a part in metabolic rate. The good news is that your metabolism is dynamic; meaning it is always changing and adapting to internal/external stimuli.
As you exercise and gain muscle, your metabolic rate will increase. With increased tissue to sustain, the body requires more energy, meaning more calories will be needed from food. This is how building muscle aids in the process of fat loss. If you don’t meet this energy demand by feeding your body enough, your metabolism will down-regulate (slow down) to be efficient with what its given.
This is why chronic under-eaters can’t lose weight. The body slows down all its processes to become more efficient, and fat-loss moves to the bottom of its list of priorities. The body now works to protect its stored energy (your body-fat stores).
In addition, without enough energy the body cannot build or repair muscle tissue, and in extreme cases the body will actually break down muscle tissue for fuel. So, in this case, less food is not better. Food is fuel! Depleting the body of what it needs is not the optimal environment for muscle gain or fat loss.
You should be eating enough so that your metabolism doesn’t have to conserve energy and can instead function at full capacity rather than running on fumes. You’ll feel better, your workouts will be better, and the scale may even start moving in the right direction again.
So how do you know how much energy is too much or too little?
For help with determining an estimate of the number of calories you should be eating per day, you can use apps like MyFitnessPal, use macronutrient calculators online (my favorite one is linked below), and as always, ask an AXIS team member for help! We are here for your SUCCESS!! Crush it this week!