It’s January the time that everyone is starting their fitness journey and got their targets set on losing weight.
I’ve had a big influx of enquiries and clients starting this year and from it, I have noticed a trend in people's mindset and approach to achieving their goals.
It’s a trend that has been around for a long time but it seems a lot bigger this year than I have previously noticed and is something more common among women.
So many people seem to have the mindset that they need to starve themselves to lose fat.
Skipping meals, eating low-calorie salads, and killing themselves in the gym seems to be a growing approach to achieve results.
But actually, this is going to prevent you from achieving the results you wish to achieve.
I’d like to point out that your body won’t start storing fat if you don’t eat enough calories, many people that starve themselves and skip meals to achieve weight loss believe this to be the case when they don’t see results.
The fact is you starving yourself and skipping meals is causing you to overeat biscuits, crisps, chocolates, alcohol, and other calorie bombs in the evenings and on the weekends resulting in you eating too many calories.
When you starve yourself there's only so long you can go resisting food when it’s constantly shoved in your face everywhere you go. This approach causes you to pick and eat the wrong things because you thought skipping breakfast and lunch was the ticket to fat loss.
Let’s take two people who want to lose weight.
Person A skips breakfast as wants to eat fewer calories, they head into work with no food other than some soup for lunch. They start to feel peckish at 11:00 but it’s not the time for lunch, colleagues keep offering them biscuits and because they’re hungry they struggle to say no. Eventually, they give in they tell themselves it’s okay as they haven’t eaten breakfast today. 13:00 comes around and its time for lunch so they tuck into their 200 calorie soup which doesn’t help to fill them up. (liquid calories don’t cause the stomach to signal the brain that it’s eaten and full). When person A gets home they’re still hungry and wanting food but first have to cook dinner. They grab a quick snack before they make dinner and then whilst prepping they pick at other food or their kids' food. They still don’t think they’ve eaten much as in their mind they’ve only had a soup and a couple of biscuits so they give themselves a large portion for dinner. However, they’ve eaten around 1000 calories from snacking. Their big portion of dinner takes them up to 1800-2000 calories without them noticing. They quickly consume their dinner due to being so hungry, but when they’ve finished they’re still hungry because they starved themselves all day and not allowed their dinner to go down properly. They again treat themselves to an after-dinner snack/treat because they’re one part hungry and two, "not" ate much all day other than soup and dinner. By the end of the day they’ve eaten over 2200+ calories but only think they’ve consumed 1200, they also feel drained and tired as they haven’t eaten much good quality food until dinner.
Person B has 2 poached eggs with smoked salmon on 2 slices of toast for breakfast, the high protein and carbs keep them full. They take their calorie-controlled snack into work so when it comes to mid-morning hunger, they don’t feel the need to pick at biscuits. They’ve packed a wrap filled with chicken, peppers, onions, kidney beans, and some salsa for lunch which contains 550 calories. Their lunch again fills them up and keeps them satisfied for the rest of their working day. They get home from work and they’re not starving hungry so again they’re happy to wait until dinner so they don’t snack or pick. They have a normal portion size dinner as they know they’ve eaten and eaten well today so don’t feel the need to eat a lot as haven’t skipped any meals. By the end of the day, they’ve eaten 1700 calories and feel full and energised in return.
Person A tries to starve themselves for fat loss and fails, person B fuels themselves for fat loss and succeeds.
Think of athletes, they’re some of the leanest people in the world. Do you think their coaches starve them and get them to skip breakfast, just eat soup at lunch and just eat a proper meal at dinner?
Of course not, they fuel them throughout the day and keep them full of good quality food. This allows them to train hard to get the best results in fitness and muscle growth along with not caving in at every sight of a biscuit and treats because they’re not always hungry.
If you start taking the approach of person B you will start feeling better, stop always thinking about food, stop eating too many snacks, and start losing body fat.
So please stop starving yourself for fat loss because it won’t work for you. Instead, take a more sustainable approach that you enjoy and can stick to.