Here’s Why Eating Less Could Lead To Weight Gain
The perfect equation for weight loss seems simple enough, right? Eat less, exercise more and voilá — clearly defined abs. But if that’s the case, then why do so many people find that cutting calories and adding an extra workout or two to their weekly routine results in weight gain?
It’s all about that metabolic science, folks. This result does seem counterintuitive, but depriving your body of the energy it needs while also forcing it to work harder can send your metabolic hormones completely out of whack.
Exercise increases the body’s production of ghrelin, the hormone that is responsible for making us feel hungry, as well as slowing down the metabolism to conserve the energy the body has at that given moment. (It’s our natural defense against starvation.) And while ghrelin increases, leptin decreases, and that’s the hormone that tells the brain that the body’s weight is stable and not too low. So when you end up with this particular hormonal imbalance, your body is convinced it needs to store all available energy to prevent starvation and, ultimately, holds on to any existing body fat. It also leaves the metabolism moving at a slower rate, so new calories consumed aren’t burned as fast and have a higher potential of being stored, thus leading to weight gain.
Weight loss goals can’t override your choice to fuel your body properly — and if they do, you just won’t ever reach that desired number on the scale (at least not in a healthy way). You have to eat to lose weight, plain and simple. So whether you’re a dieter or an athlete (or both), consider eating based on what you know your body needs at what time intervals of the day rather than waiting to listen to your appetite or staring at those size labels on your clothes. For example, always eat those pre- and post-workout meals.
And most importantly, focus on the quality of the food you’re consuming, not just its caloric value. You have to think about how those calories are impacting your hormone balance and overall metabolism, and transform your diet into your lifestyle. Know the value in eating a healthy, heartier meal and letting your body rest rather than pushing through another grueling workout on an empty tank. We bet you’ll notice desired results much faster.
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