From the Blog

Eat More to Lose Weight!?!

January 6th, 2011 - Fitness News, Food News

46

I was recently talking with a friend who was feeling very frustrated about her lack of progress losing weight, despite her very strenuous efforts. I knew there had to be somewhere that she was missing it, so I began asking questions like…”How often are you working out, about how many calories do you think your eating, etc…”

When she told me she was working out 6 days a week, and eating about 1,300 calories a day~ it was no surprise to me why her weight wasn’t budging…for more than one reason! However, to sum it up, I knew she was not eating enough!

This seems very strange to most people, especially the average person with a ‘dieting mentality’ who has the ever-so-common belief that eating less= losing weight. This is not all there is to losing weight, and if anything, this is simply not true!

I know from personal experience that eating ‘more’ had transformed my body for the better, and I can honestly say that my metabolism is on fire compared to what it used to be when I restricted my calories. However, I decided to do a little more scientific research on this subject to ‘actually prove’ to my friend that she in fact needed to eat more to ‘boost’ her weight loss efforts.

I was alarmed at the amount of research I found proving my theory (and personal experience) true, so I decided to share my findings on the subject! If you are anything like my friend and you find your weight ‘at a stand-still’ despite your intense workouts, and cutting the calories~ this may be just the news for you!

HERE’S WHAT I FOUND BROKEN DOWN INTO A FEW SIMPLE POINTS:

 

  • You need to eat to build muscle and burn body fat. Think of your body as a car, and food being the gas it needs to make it run. If you don’t provide enough ‘gas’ for you body to run on, it will find a way to get the precious energy it needs to keep your vital organs running. This precious energy is found by converting muscle tissue into energy, which results in a loss of muscle mass. Muscle mass is vital for proper metabolic functioning, so even though the scale may say you lost weight, you have really lost muscle, which is the very thing you need to loose weight~ and keep it off!
  • If you don’t eat enough your body will think it’s starving and store fat. When your calories are severely restricted, the body thinks it’s entering a prolonged period of time without any food. Your body will then work to conserve energy if you don’t eat – mainly by slowing down your metabolism and storing fat~This is when you enter starvation mode. (Note: Our bodies developed this starvation mechanism as a way to conserve body fat for the long periods of time humans went without food.)
  • Divide your calories evenly throughout the day so that you fuel your body every three to five hours. Start the day with a well-balanced breakfast that includes a lean protein-rich food along with whole grains and veggies or fruit. Breakfast starts your metabolic engine and is associated with successful maintenance of weight loss. Next, eat snacks that are spaced out between meals. Prepare these snacks ahead of time so that they are ready when you need them.
  • Nourish your body with quality foods that are high in fiber and protein. One simple way of doing this is by loading half of your plate with fruits and veggies, one-quarter of your plate with whole grains, starchy veggies or beans, and the other quarter with protein-rich foods. This will not only help you put together balanced meals, but keep you full and satisfied for longer~ Yippie!

Moral of the story: You can eventually lose weight by not eating~ It’s called starving. If you reduce your calories enough~ your body will start breaking down it’s muscle tissue, and this will result in weight loss~ but much of this weight loss is due to a loss of  lean muscle. Not eating enough also makes your body increase its emergency ‘starvation’ response, which causes your body to ‘hang onto fat’, making it hard to loose weight, and easy to gain the weight back again.

The idea is to keep a constant supply of nutrient rich energy coming in, so your metabolism will run strong and steady. This will not only help you loose weight the healthy way, but it will help you keep it off, and stay strong!

46 Comments

Lisa said:

Katie, I find these posts so so helpful! I havent been commenting on your blog lately, but I pretty much visit it every day for your recipes and advice! Every time I read the posts, I discover something about myself that is helping me overcome my disordered eating. I find every post so helpful and all of your recipes always amaze me. This week my obsession is your protien shakes. For the first time, I used cottage cheese and you are absolutely right, it makes it so creamy and filling. I was so full for hours yesterday! Please write more of these posts about weight loss and how to eat healithily and not obsessing! Your insight has helped me heal tremendously! =)

January 6th, 2011 — 10:23am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thanks lisa this is why i do posts like these! :) xoxoxo

January 6th, 2011 — 10:57am  | 

april said:

It’s so true you need to eat more to lose! I actually found the 10x body weight and 15 x body weight very inaccurate for me though- I just got the bodymedia which is super accurate at measuring your burn throughout the day, and I burn anywhere from 2000-2600 (2600 is on a nursing workday! I’m sure you can relate). Now that I’m eating that much my body is responding so well- it’s great! Now I can’t imagine going back to the 1300 calories my body used to live on-yikes!

January 6th, 2011 — 10:54am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

so true april!

January 6th, 2011 — 10:57am  | 

Sami said:

this is so true! so many people think they have to starve to lose weight, when really it’s the TOTAL opposite! eating ALLLL the time is the best way! as long as you’re eating healthy and nutritious foods!

xo.

January 6th, 2011 — 11:25am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

so true sami! :) we love our ‘large plates’ of veggies! :)

January 6th, 2011 — 11:49am  | 

robert said:

Great article. I have heard in the past that our body or metabolism is like a fire and we must keep it burning by feeding it. Of course this means feeding with healthy nutrition. T I have learned what foods to eat and what foods actually aid in the burning of calories themselves.

PS Katie you are beautiful and your writing is right on.

January 6th, 2011 — 11:58am  |  Reply

Kristin said:

I never knew that easy trick for figuring out your daily needs! That’s so great :o)I just recently found your blog and am really enjoying it. The posts about your faith are especially inspiring to me. Oh, and I’m a nurse too!

January 6th, 2011 — 2:52pm  |  Reply

Chris said:

Wow! you just summed it all up perfectly! I lost 120 pounds last year on this philosophy and thanks to your great recipe entries! Nice summation! You are a blessing to many!

January 6th, 2011 — 3:16pm  |  Reply

Elyse said:

Katie, funny you post this! I actually have been trying to eat 5 small meals a day and am planning them the night before as my new years resolution! I’m amassed how much energy I have! :) Thanks for the great post!

January 6th, 2011 — 4:01pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

awesome elyse! :) you will notice a huge change! :)

January 6th, 2011 — 6:31pm  | 

Lexi said:

Thanks for this post. Even though I know better, I sometimes think I need to cut back to lose, but really I just need to change the types of foods I’m eating. More veggies!

January 7th, 2011 — 6:38am  |  Reply

Sruthi @ Exercise, Food & Beyond said:

This is so true! It is all about eating right than eating less.

January 7th, 2011 — 9:06am  |  Reply

Liz @ IHeartVegetables said:

This is such a great post. I FINALLY discovered this for myself! I used to be one of those “minimal calories” kind of people but now I’ve realized that I burn ~2,300 calories a day (thanks bodybugg!) and I need to eat at least 1,700 calories to keep me fueled!

January 7th, 2011 — 9:16am  |  Reply

Family Recipes said:

Great post thanks for sharing. I really enjoy your blog very much. Excellent content!

January 7th, 2011 — 10:03am  |  Reply

Courtney F said:

I thoroughly believe in all of these points! It is hard for people to wrap their heads around the concept, but once they do it and see better results, then it makes sense!
I love your “healthified” recipes!

January 7th, 2011 — 12:59pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thanks courtney!

January 7th, 2011 — 9:58pm  | 

Carley said:

This is excellent! Thanks for taking the time to do this. I’m slowly trying to accept this but I like that you were able to back it all up with research.

January 7th, 2011 — 6:06pm  |  Reply

Picky Nicky said:

This post is so great! People always wonder how I eat so much and still stay thin, I think next time the question comes up, I’ll send them over to this page :)

January 8th, 2011 — 4:21pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

:) so true nicky! same here!

January 9th, 2011 — 5:33am  | 

mindy @ just a one girl revolution. said:

Hey Katie! Just came across your site (love it!) from the Healthy Living Blogs directory; it’s great to see another Michigander blogging!

January 10th, 2011 — 11:20am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

yeah mindy! glad you found me! :) where in mi are you located?

January 10th, 2011 — 1:08pm  | 

jay said:

January 10th, 2011 — 2:59pm  |  Reply

Dawn (HealthySDLiving) said:

This is a tough one for me! There are day that I burn so many calories that I can’t even imagine eating that much, it’s definitely a struggle but you’re right – food is fuel.

January 12th, 2011 — 1:42pm  |  Reply

Elizabeth said:

Love this post!! I am in the same boat as your friend, I have been eating about 1500 cals a day, and working out 4 days a week for at least an hour, and I GAINED weight last week. Talk about frustrating! Since I do work out farily often, and my goal weight is 140, that means that I sould be eating about 2100 cals a day? That seems like SO MUCH!? I’d love to read more from the research you found if it’s available online <3

January 12th, 2011 — 4:10pm  |  Reply

Angie said:

I Love this post! :) Your blog is my favorite and I mean that!

January 16th, 2011 — 12:54pm  |  Reply

Dutch Voithofer ahealthypassion.com said:

I’m impressed with your food and presentation of it. Your food looks very similar to my girlfriends. keep up good work. If you don’t mind. How did you get the pictures set up at the top of your blog. The continue to scroll through each one of them. I like it

January 16th, 2011 — 10:45pm  |  Reply

Brittany G said:

I am new to your little health-foodie blog and I love it. You are so tiny, and with all this yummy food (healthy or not), I would love to know what you do to workout and also maybe like a sample of a few days of your meal plans? I am having trouble losing weight (finding time to work out) with school 5 days a week, a 3 year old, and work 24-36 hours a week. Would love to pick your brain on the workouts and meal plans…please share!

January 27th, 2011 — 11:41pm  |  Reply

deedee said:

Hey Katie I just found your site from everyday fitness.com and I must say that I am really interested in your concepts. I too am 5 foot but my weight has skyrocketed to 180 and I am now on a 1200-1300 calorie diet. I am also taking the mic shots to help and after 2 weeks am only down 2 pounds and very frustrated. I have struggled with my weight all my life and have a hard time sticking to a diet because they are so restrictive ( and believe me I have tried most of them) and I see very little progress even tho I work out. Anyways, Your ideas make sense if I really think about all the mechanics of weight and I am going to give it a try. :)

February 4th, 2011 — 8:41am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

Way to go DeeDee! You CAN do it!

February 4th, 2011 — 11:16am  | 

Ana Maria said:

this is a great post! I really enjoy reading all of your posts about application, because i never really thought of eating more to maintain a healthy weight.

March 19th, 2011 — 3:18pm  |  Reply

Katie said:

I know this is an old post, but I just came across your website (HI!). I struggle with this and I know it. I eat all day (snacking every few hours, pretty healthy for the most part, and meals). But, I don’t think I’m getting enough calories. However, I wondered what your experience is with those calories we don’t properly count. For example, I’ve read that we usually eat a few hundred more than we think we did (even with calculations, possibly?). It’s hard to do sometimes, so I wonder what to factor in with those numbers.

Thanks! And keep up the great work on the website. :)

June 16th, 2011 — 10:56am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thanks katie! ya know its hard to say if we are going over or under based on nutritional labels, but for the most part, what i’m implying to here is the fact that if you dont eat enough for your basic metabolic needs, (just to sustain your bodies everyday functions….so let say eat 600 calories a day for a crash diet)..you are for sure going to be putting your body in starvation mode, and your body will start ‘saving your fat cells’ thinking it needs to protect itself. Many women do this, and that is why when they go ‘off’ the diet eventually, they gain all their weight back and more. If you have any specific questions, let me know and feel free to email me at katie5759@yahoo.com! :)

June 17th, 2011 — 4:01am  | 

Aleisha said:

Love this post, it is so helpful!
So I weigh about 147lbs and above it says to times by ten and this is the lowest calories to consume for metabolism sake. But later is says times ideal weight by ten, which for me would be 135lbs. I was wondering which I should number of calories I should follow? I never really was a fan of counting calories but nothing has been seeming to work and the scale keeps moving up, so I’m going to count until I can get myself back on track.
Thanks!

July 1st, 2011 — 3:33pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

I would try 1400 calories a day aleisha! :) how tall are you though?

July 2nd, 2011 — 6:51am  | 

Aleisha said:

Thanks! I am 5`3ish :)
so 1400 would be good with working out? I am going to try to incorporate some hiit with the program that was broken into weeks 1-8 you posted! excited!

July 2nd, 2011 — 7:37am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

sounds perfect aleisha! i’m 5’2 and used that calorie range to loose weight along with HIIT workouts 3x a week, and one day of cardio!

July 2nd, 2011 — 8:37am  | 

aleisha said:

You also do weight training right? Is that incorporated into your HIIT or is that a different day?

July 3rd, 2011 — 7:27pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

aleisha, I do weight training on my cardio day and one other day a week with the HIIT!

July 3rd, 2011 — 7:44pm  | 

Tracey said:

Hi Katie…

Great post! I too am like your friend ~ I have been working out for a year and the scales aren’t budging. I was always told I needed to eat a 1200 cal per day diet. I run 2-3 miles 3-4x per wk am approx 170lb ~ from your post am I understanding correctly that I should be eating 1700 cal per day? I’m so frustrated ~ I feel better & look better but having the scales show it sure would be nice! Thanks for your help & advice :-)

April 29th, 2012 — 11:25am  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

sounds about right tracey, although i cant say for sure without knowing your exact detailed weight, ht, ect. you can sign up for health coaching if you would like me to review the details for ya! :)

April 29th, 2012 — 12:41pm  | 

Katie said:

Hi Katie,

I really liked this post, especially because I just quit a diet program after a friend expressed her concern to me that I was eating too little and was going to go into the starvation mode. I just had one question. To calculate the number of calories needed to consume in order to lose weight, do you use your current weight or goal weight?

Thank you so much! I am new to your site, but I really am loving it.

May 31st, 2012 — 2:52pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

goal weight! :) thanks katie!

May 31st, 2012 — 3:01pm  | 

Sharon said:

Hi Katie,

Can you help me please? i’m really struggling trying to lose weight after having my little girl nearly 6 months ago. I’m 5’6 and weigh 181lbs. I want to get down to 145lbs or near enough.

Loving your site, only just found it thanks to Google!!

September 5th, 2012 — 3:28am  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

Hi sharon! :) Thank you so much! A great place to start is the meal plans for one, or for more ‘individual’ help…check out my health coaching services! :) LOTS of great testimonies on both pages!

September 5th, 2012 — 9:54am  | 

Angie said:

Hi there, I have just started reading your blog and I love it. I have a question everyone keeps referring to a number system they are figuring their weight by 10? I am not seeing this in your write up am I missing something? Thanks!

April 1st, 2013 — 3:05pm  |  Reply

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