Eat Less and Move More!
You’ll have heard it said many times before…if you eat less and move more you will lose weight. It’s simple mathematics.
The old Energy Balance Equation.
Energy In (Calories) – Energy Out (Exercise) = Weight Loss.
Except that it doesn’t work…
Well, let me be very honest… it does work …to a point.
Usually a very short lived point.
That first couple of weeks on your new diet, when you are watching what you eat like a hawk, weighing out tiny portions of food, hitting the gym like a demon or working out in morning bootcamp every damn day… the scales move in the right direction and you think HURRAH!!!
Diets work, I am eating less and moving move…it is working. It was me all along. I was too lazy, too greedy, too relaxed, too slow, too generous.
But then… the weight loss slows down or even stops. You eat a little bit less, you go to an extra class, your Fitbit is sending you messages about how you have climbed Kilimanjaro and Mount Fuji you are walking so many extra steps….still, the scales don’t budge.
You are exhausted … you are hungry… you are off the diet!!
We hear this story time and time again on retreat.
Just like you, these are smart, intelligent, educated women who have run companies, raised families, held down important jobs, become experts in their own field… all beating their heads against the diet brick wall.
Why doesn’t it work… it makes sense.
Calories In minus Calories Out and you lose weight. Everybody knows that!!
“What the hell is wrong with me that it doesn’t work for me!!!!”
They feel that they have failed at something that had such a simple set of instructions, Eat Less and Move More.
But here’s the thing…they didn’t fail the diet ..the diet failed them.
The Real Energy Balance Equation
If we were going to use an equation to lose weight it would look a bit more like this
(the real amount of food eaten & the actual calories consumed – the food not absorbed)
(your resting metabolic rate, + the thermic effect of eating + exercise & movement energy use + non exercise thermic energy use)
Many parts of this equation you’d need a week in a lab with men in white coats testing to even come close to your actual numbers.
The reality is that how much weight you lose is determined by your metabolism, your age, your sex, your genetic make up, your stress levels, your water intake, your sleep pattern, your gut microbiome…to name those factors we now understand better.
Eating Better & Moving Smarter
For us here at The Body Retreat we prefer to focus on Eating Better and Moving Smarter.
Yes, you do need to watch not only what you eat, but how and when you eat it…you cant just live on coffee all day and then wolf down a pringle pizza for supper. Likewise, you can’t simply hit the gym and attain your calorie number on the treadmill or your step number on your Fitbit.
It’s a much more subtle ‘equation’ than just eat less and move more. It’s not one size fits all…but then let’s be honest … you have probably already figured out that that isn’t working for you.
Three Top Tips to help you start to make a shift today away from Eat Less and Move More
- Focus on good quality Protein at every main meal. Enjoy meat, fish, seafood, eggs, tofu, beans and pulses, nuts and seeds.
- Eat the rainbow. When you look at your plate you want to see more than three colours
- Eat your main meals sitting down. Even if its only for 5 minutes, this will improve your digestion and absorption.
- Move your body every day. Even if your day job is sedentary make it a habit to move your body regularly through the day.
- Find something you love and commit to doing it every week, it might be swimming, dancing, spinning etc. It doesn’t matter so long as you are having a blast while you do it. This means you are less likely to get bored and just stop.
- You are going to have to sweat. If you want to change your body shape and size and improve your fitness then you need to be sweating every exercise session….not just glowing. It doesn’t have to be for long, but you need to be sweaty at the end.