Weight Loss is a two-way street.
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Calories come in.
Calories go out.
A lot of times when we go on a weight loss journey, we focus on reducing calories coming in.
There is nothing wrong with that.
There is a downside.
They give us energy!
They fuel our brain and body!
Decreasing total calories is a very viable way to lose weight, however; that doesn’t mean it’s ideal.
3 big reasons why reducing calories could cause some difficulties.
If we’re trying to lose weight the more muscle we have the easier the process.
However, muscle is expensive.
You know what the currency for muscle payment is??
(More specifically protein, but total calories play a role as well.)
When we decrease our calories we have less currency to pay our muscle.
When wages get cut it’s not unlikely to see some muscle quit and leave.
If this happens we do lose weight, but where did that weight loss come from?
I imagine you are like me and care more about losing fat than muscle.
Now that we lost weight, via muscle, continuing to lose weight is even more challenging since we have less capability to burn calories.
Note: This can be mitigated with higher protein levels while in a caloric deficit.
2) Energy Expenditure.
Calories coming in are used as energy.
Calories going out is Energy Expenditure.
What happens when we have less energy coming in??
We have less energy to expend out!
Another way of saying this is our energy levels decrease and we are less likely to be active.
Activity plays a LARGE role in weight loss.
Restricting calories can be tough.
The social pressure.
We want to enjoy our life!
Food can be a big part of that enjoyment.
I know food, so long as I don’t EF up a recipe, is one of the things I enjoy most every day.
There are a lot of positives to being able to enjoy food without worrying about our weight.
All of these factors decrease the sustainability of restricting calories.
Keeping up with that restriction is going to take a lot of willpower and mental energy.
All of these reasons, plus a few I didn’t mention, is why I think calories out should be the first focus on a weight loss journey.
Keep your nutrition how it is, for now, and as consistent as possible, to know why check here.
Focus on maximizing steps every day.
Play music and accidentally dance along while you work.
Try to lift weights or do body weight training that will build muscle, or at the very least, increase energy expenditure.
For more on Energy Expenditure…