When you are used to eating whatever you feel like without actually counting calories, it can seem like you aren’t eating much at all when you finally go on a fat loss diet.
That’s why it’s typical for people to ask us to evaluate their current diet, training routine and physical condition – and ask us to figure out why they aren’t making any progress.
They do a good job tracking their calories, resistance training sessions but they’ve ignored an important factor – going into starvation mode.
Can Eating Too Little Stop you From Losing Weight?
If you are unfamiliar with the term, starvation mode basically means you are eating so little calories that your body starts to panic that it is starving.
Keep in mind this is an evolutionary trait – thousands of years ago not getting enough calories meant that you could end up starving to death soon.
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Obviously with today’s grocery stores and pizza delivery services this is no longer a concern.
Nevertheless, your body hasn’t adapted to this new reality and still freaks out whenever you aren’t getting enough food.
So what does this mean? What people think is that your metabolism will slow down as your body holds onto whatever mass it has left, basically ruining your diet.
Now, if you think this sounds like B.S. – guess what? It absolutely is.
Starvation Mode is a Hoax?
The truth is, a lot of people like to blame starvation mode as the reason why they can’t lose any weight.
The problem is, they blame it before they’ve eliminated other potential causes of low diet success.
For example, many people don’t track their calorie properly.
They don’t factor in snacks, condiments and toppings when counting calories.
As a result they end up eating a lot more than they think.
That’s one possible reason why the fat loss hasn’t been as quick as hoped for.
Now we aren’t saying that eating too little can’t mess up your diet progress – it certainly can just not in ways you think.
Calorie Deficiency and Overall Health
One of the main ways not eating enough calories can mess up your diet is when you simply aren’t consuming enough nutrients to allow your body to function properly.
While most people might pick all their meals based on what tastes best, the truth is that we eat becomes our body needs those nutrients to keep functioning.
Therefore, it’s not hard to realize that if you aren’t giving your body the nutrients it needs it simply won’t function very well.
For example, people who with anorexia tend to also suffer from a variety of health problems.
Even certain nutrients, such as zinc, iron and vitamin D all have health consequences when not consumed enough.
As you can see, by not getting enough calories you will make it more difficult for your body to perform essential daily tasks.
As a result, things like weight training, cardio and recovery become far more difficult.
Your body ends up breaking down muscle tissue to sustain itself and you are left with a completely undesirable physique.
Consuming Enough Calories for Optimal Functioning
Here is another scenario to consider.
Let’s say you consume enough nutrients to give your body what it needs in terms of getting through everyday life.
In other words, you are eating enough calories to perform all essential functions however you are still in a calorie deficit that results in fat loss.
How would you go about doing this?
First you are going to want to make sure you are consuming plenty of protein as this will help your body hold onto muscle mass throughout the cut.
You will also want to make sure you are consuming enough carbs to be able to train hard and recover from those grueling workouts.
It’s also important for getting quality sleep and keeping you from having vicious mood swings.
Consuming plenty of fiber is important as it will help keep your hunger under control effectively.
Finally, you want to make sure you are eating enough calories so that you DON’T have to burn muscle in order to fuel your body.
Now, you can definitely lose weight while being in a calorie deficit and not doing any of these things.
In fact, they might not even jeopardize their health right away.
However, even if they are making progress by doing this, they won’t be making the most progress possible.
They will lose a lot more strength, muscle mass, recovery slowly, feel shitty, etc.
In other words, they are making life a lot more difficult for themselves.
Now, a lot of guys want to know how they can lose fat as fast as possible, or make gains as fast as possible, etc.
In other words, they want the best bang for their buck.
Therefore, you obviously want to make sure you are consuming the right amount of calories as it is a relatively easy fix.
How Quickly Should You Lose Weight?
Let’s say the average guy needs to consume 3,000 calories per day to maintain their current wait.
Now, they know a 250-500 calorie deficit is ideal but they want to speed up the progress so they consume only 2,000 calories per day.
Therefore, they are sitting at about a 1,000 calorie deficit.
Assuming 3,500 calories is equal to 1 pound that means our sample brah will lose 2 pounds per week.
To put that into context, that’s 8 pounds per month and 104 pounds per year.
Now obviously this person will lose weight – they are consuming well-below maintenance calories.
They will definitely see the number on the scale go down very quickly.
However, if this person is used to consuming 3,000 calories per day their body is going to be very unhappy with the sudden drop-off.
First of all, they will have a harder time getting through their usual daily routine.
Second, their hormone levels will come out of whack.
Third, they will lose more muscle mass.
Finally, they won’t sleep as well and will feel moody throughout the day.
So why is this an issue?
Well when we don’t feel well as a result of a particularly diet or training routine we are less likely to sustain it.
As a result, they drop the diet and go right back to their old ways.
Simply put, this person attempted to diet too aggressively and paid the price.
This Is Important
Do you want to know the most important thing when it comes to fat loss?
That’s the metabolism.
The metabolism determines how much fat you can lose.
If you have a slow metabolism you will burn fewer calories and lose less fat.
However if you have a high metabolism you will burn off more calories and lose MORE fat.
This is why it’s extremely important to keep your metabolism high.
When you are dieting and losing weight your metabolism slows down naturally.
Making it harder and harder for you to lose more weight.
The solution is to supercharge your metabolism.
You might be asking “So how do I supercharge my metabolism?”
It’s an easy solution.
They are designed to turbocharge your metabolism.
So you will be burning off more calories throughout the day.
Forcing your body to lose more fat.
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It’s really time people stopped buying into the myth of starvation mode.
The truth is, if you are eating a huge calorie deficit you simply aren’t giving your body the nutrients it needs for optimal performance.
When your body can’t repair muscles, recover and feel energetic then obviously your workouts will be lousy.
This results in losing more muscle than fat!
This is why so many people who lose weight rapidly still look bad with their shirts off – they didn’t prioritize losing just fat and not muscle.
Finally, if you are currently struggling with your diet and you are blaming it on starvation mode take a closer look at things.
Are you really recording every calorie you consume?
Even a tablespoon of olive oil you use to cook needs to be factored into your calculations.
Chances are, you aren’t actually in starvation mode – rather, you are just consuming too many calories.