Hey, What’s Up?
Hold up now! I’m not green lighting you to go out and eat whatever you want! However, if I had to generalize the biggest nutrition mistake I see is that people just don’t eat enough.
People don’t eat enough to lose the right sort of weight…and especially don’t eat enough to gain the right sort of weight.
Just because a friend said she read somewhere online that you need to eat 1200 calories to lose weight does not mean it’s true or good to do. Here’s the thing, not eating enough calories actually does help you lose weight so I get why it’s deceiving…but it’s not the correct sort of weight you want to lose.
The ONLY way to get lean, toned/defined and lose excess body fat is to build lean muscle. Sufficient calorie intake supports lean muscle growth, whereas a caloric deficit results in muscle atrophy (loss of muscle).
Muscle loss does equal weight loss on the scale. BUT all you’ve done is create a smaller and fatter version of yourself because your muscle has decreased in proportion to your body fat.
Yes, it is possible to lose weight and build muscle; however the more weight you have to lose, the less muscle growth you’ll see. This doesn’t mean you’re not getting stronger, it just means you will not see as much muscle gain because your body is focused on weight loss. The less weight you have to lose, the more you should focus on building lean muscle.
By the way, I don’t recommend tracking your calories daily, either. Once you get a feel for how much you should eat, you’re good. If you’re too focused on calories, you will focus too much on calorie count instead of nutritional quality. For example, a cup of cooked pasta has fewer calories than a cup of avocado—but we both know that pasta is carb-dense, highly processed, mostly empty calories while the avocado is a fresh vegetable loaded with heart-healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals! That’s how focusing excessively on calories can trick you into unhealthy food choices.
Starting today, track your calories for a few days so you get an idea of how much you should eat. Do this analysis every 3 months or so, as your calorie needs constantly change as you become fitter, stronger, and leaner.
Check out an article I wrote on how to determine how many calories to eat:
I’m curious: do you have other nutrition questions that you would like more info on?
Ask away in the Comments section so that everyone can learn together!