Part 3: Why Eat Less, Move More Is Failing You
Remember last week we went over "Energy Out" and how it pertains to this equation:
Body Weight (mass) = Energy In - Energy Out
Let’s look at how this information plays out over time for a hypothetical woman named Samantha (because that was my American Girl doll growing up).
Samantha is 37 years old, weighs 155 pounds, is 5’7” and has been losing and gaining the same 5 pounds for the past 4 years since having her children.
She decides to start watching her food intake, and is going to cut back by 500 calories per day. Her friend Karen told her she read you're supposed to cut out 500 calories a day in a magazine one time and that seems simple enough. She doesn’t know exactly how many calories she has been eating up to now, but she knows that 2000 calories per day is the general recommendation, so she'll aim to eat 1500 calories per day.
Samantha is resourceful, so she googled it and found out that there are 3500 calories in a pound, so she figures if she cuts back 500 calories per day, that should mean she is eating 3500 calories LESS per week, and she will lose roughly a pound per week.
Samantha knows losing a pound per week is a very reasonable weight loss goal - none of this lose 10 pounds in 10 days business. She knows that real change takes time, and she’s ready to commit to 5 months of hard work to see the result she wants.
1 pound per week means in 5 months she will lose 20 pounds and finally reach her goal weight of 135lbs! Woohoo! Go Samantha!
But not so fast… if we extrapolate this same equation, that means in 1 year she will weigh 103 lbs. And two years after that she will weigh 0 lbs. So while the initial equation works in theory… we can't expect this type of calorie math to work forever. There are some problems with the math long term. We know Samantha is not likely going to actually get down to 103 lbs… so while we can assume this approach will work for a little while, we’re left to wonder at what point this equation stops working and we no longer see any changes.
Issue #6: Your brain is always one step ahead of you, and it has an endless supply of mechanisms to keep you alive, and stave off starvation. Essentially if you try anything too extreme, the lights and sirens are going off and it will stop at nothing to bring you back to "normal".
Again, taking a look at all of these issues with the “eat less, move more” equation can be pretty demoralizing. It feels so complex. And, it is... our bodies are an amazing system of checks and balances and almost all of our processes are completely automated! So much of what we’ve been taught continues to be proven incorrect, or at least partly untrue... because it’s not addressing the WHOLE system. The most correct answer in anything health and fitness continues to be "It depends". (Insert Eye Roll Here)
Luckily I have 6 solutions to these issues to give you step by step instructions on how to make SMART and LASTING changes to your body. This is only one side of the equation, of course. Exercise is a big piece of the puzzle, but I promise you that no matter how much you exercise if your nutrition is not on point, you will continue to struggle to see progress. Nutrition is the foundation of the body composition pyramid.
I urge you to consider making long term lifestyle changes to work towards your goals and I want to give you as much information as possible to get there. In this day and age we are overloaded with information and it can be hard to sift through it and know what to do. I’m here to save you time, save you struggle, and cut through the bullshit. I want to expedite the process and help you IMPLEMENT the RIGHT information. Together we will get you REAL RESULTS that work in your already busy life.
Keep your eyes peeled for the FINAL post in this series: The 6 Solutions to the “Eat Less, Move More” Myth.