Are you eating enough? Yes, I said ENOUGH.
Reverse dieting has become a hot topic in the nutrition industry these days. I tend to want to shy away from using that phrase and suggesting it to people. However, the more people I work with the more I am realizing how many people TRULY need this.
You see, you aren't meant to live at a calorie deficit. You have a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is the amount of calories you need to consume to just be a living, healthy human being. That doesn't take into account exercise, walking to your car, chasing your toddler around, carrying groceries in….anything. Your BMR is your BASE. Any additional movement or exercise you do requires more calories.
I think it's a fair assumption to say that most peoples BMR is over 1000 calories. Yet, I have worked with a few clients that have come to me eating 1000 -1200 calories and are completely frustrated. Not only are they not losing weight but they are gaining weight, aren't sleeping, they have no sex drive, and no energy or motivation.
Yes, you want to get shredded for the summer. Yes, you want to lose a little weight, lean out, get bulging biceps...whatever it is, I get it. But, if you are currently eating VERY little I have two questions:
1. How the hell are you going to eat LESS? You are most likely surviving on a cracker a day. What, now it's ½ a cracker? No.
2. Is what you are doing working? If the answer is "no", why not try something new? What do you have to lose?
Reverse dieting is just that- the addition of calories. Ideally, it will be done slowly with meticulous increases. The increases will be determined from feedback that your body is providing.
There are a few biofeedback markers that I pay closest attention to:
Sleep- If you don't sleep well and are very under-fed, I often monitor sleep closely. You shouldn't be waking up 18 times a night. You shouldn't lay down feeling “Tired but wired”
Hunger - are you never hungry? EVER? And you can often times survive the day on a vitamin water to wash down a handful of pretzels? Not ok. You should be hungry on occasion
Energy- How can you expect to have energy if you are not feeding your body fuel?
Motivation - Did you used to love going for a walk with your dogs and now, getting off the couch to refill your water is a struggle? Not ok either.
The idea of eating more is SCARY. I know. Society tells us to eat more, move less, and you will be successful. Unfortunately it's not always that easy. If you have been struggling for a while and feel lost and frustrated, I get it. You are not alone. But perhaps it's time to try something new. Getting the help of an experienced coach can help ease your mind, provide more information and ensure you are doing a reverse correctly.
Stop slamming your head against the wall doing the same thing over and over and not getting results. YOU deserve to feel and look better. It's time to try something new. I would love to help.