Eating less does not create the need to burn body fat. Instead, it creates the need for the body to slow down. Contrary to popular opinion, the body hangs on to body fat. Instead, it burns muscle tissue, and that worsens the underlying cause of obesity. Only as a last resort, if the body has no other option, it may also burn a bit of body fat.
Why does the body hang on to body fat and burn muscle? To answer that question, let’s look at it another way.
What does our metabolism want more of when it thinks we are starving? Stored energy.
What is a great source of stored energy? Body fat.
So when our metabolism thinks we are starving, does it want to get rid of or hold on to body fat? It wants to hold on.
Next, what does our metabolism want less of when we are starving? It wants less tissue (which burns a lot of calories). What type of tissue burns a lot of calories? Muscle tissue. So when our metabolism thinks we are starving, it gets rid of calorie-hungry muscle tissue. Studies show that up to 70% of the weight lost while eating less comes from burning muscle—not body fat!
Burning all this muscle means that starving ourselves leads to more body fat—not less—over the long term. As soon as we stop starving ourselves, we have all the calories we used to have but need less of them, thanks to all that missing muscle and our slowed-down metabolism. Now our metabolism sees eating a normal amount as overeating and creates new body fat.
In the Journal of the American Medical Association, researcher G.L. Thorpe tells us that eating less does not make us lose weight, “…by selective reduction of adipose deposits [body fat], but by wasting of all body tissues…therefore, any success obtained must be maintained by chronic under-nourishment.” It is not practical or healthy to keep ourselves “chronically under-nourished,” so we don’t. Instead, we yo-yo diet. And that is why eating less is not an effective long-term fat loss approach.
There are two ways you can find out if you are under eating;
- Actually knowing what under eating is for you. Knowing your BMR and your physically activity is crucial for this. This is what we do at Real Fitness Training we use science based measuring tools to know where your BMR is at the moment, your activity and your current goal.
- Measure what your consuming, properly. We like to do this for a full week to see what you are consuming even over weekends to get an idea of how far you are under eating. We use my fitness pal as it is simple to use and also can measure very accurately.
Are you concerned you may be under eating and stalling your fat loss?
We are experts in the field when it comes to nourishing bodies and reaching optimal health to help our clients get off the diet ban wagon and enjoy a healthy sustainable lifestyle. We are coaches to not only guide you but also keep you accountable every week, this is how we get the most amazing results with our clients.
Are you interested in how we can help you? If you are in the Hills District area I would like to offer you a complimentary blueprint session to help you unlock and discover your true potential click here to learn more