The Biggest Dietary Mistake Women Make
We're sure you know the story … You’re working hard at the gym, lifting those weights and committing to at least 3 sessions per week. You’ve cut down your sugar intake and added more leafy greens and fresh produce. You’re drinking more water than a fish and running to the loo what feels like every 5 minutes.
You’re doing everything right … but nothing is changing!
So what’s going wrong?
The biggest dietary mistake we see women making … You’re not eating near enough!
We know what you’ve been told … “eat less and exercise more” … But much like Jane Fonda, the days of calorie restriction and excessive cardio are behind us. It just simply doesn’t work as a long-term fat-loss solution. In fact … it actually puts you in an even worse off position than when you started … and ain’t nobody got time for that!
One of the biggest mistakes we see women making ALL the time is not consuming enough food. Put simply, if you’re not consuming enough calories, your body will store fat instead of burn it. This is what we like to call “hibernation mode”.
Hibernation mode is where everything you eat gets stored as fat for your body to use as a back-up energy source should you need it.
You need to be eating PLENTY of food to get your body trusting there is sufficient energy coming in. This turns on what we like to call “active mode”.
Active mode is where fat burning and lean muscle growth happens! Woohoo!
So how do you know if you’re eating enough?
We do individualised scans for each of our girls so they know exactly how much food they need based on their specific body composition… but if you don’t have access to us or your facility doesn’t offer this service to it’s members … we have provided some basic guidelines for you…
The average woman needs approximately 1200 calories to beat her heart, pump blood through her veins and breathe air into her lungs … this doesn’t include blinking, walking, getting out of bed, exercising, etc … all of these things require more energy!
So if you take into account all the extra activity you do on a daily basis, on average, a woman should be consuming between 1,800-2000 calories in a day (varies based on your current weight and height).
So what now?
For 3-4 days track how many calories you consume in a normal day (we like to use My Fitness Pal for this) and evaluate where you sit based on these guidelines. For most of you –you will be sitting way below your required energy intake … here are a few tips that our girls use to get those calories up:
1- Increase by 100 calories every week until you hit your required amount.
So if you’re goal is to hit 1900 calories, and you’re currently eating 1300 … aim to eat 1400 this week, 1500 the following week, 1600 the week after that .. etc .. until you hit 1900.
2- Have a protein shake after your workout.
Normally we recommend getting protein from your food, but sometimes a shake can help when you’re just starting to increase your calorie consumption and you’re not sure how.
3- Eat even if you’re not hungry.
Ghrelin – this is the hormone your brain releases to let you know your body is hungry! However, if you haven’t been eating enough or you regularly “forget” to eat, your brain will stop releasing the hormone because you don’t respond to it! So just because you don’t “feel” hungry, doesn’t necessarily mean you body isn’t starving! As a guideline, aim to eat every 3-4 hours.
Lastly, remember to be patient with your body. Unfortunately you don’t have an on-off switch and you can’t expect your body to instantaneously function perfectly and do everything it’s meant to … especially after years of potential mal-nourishment and harmful habits! It will take time (months) for everything to re-calibrate and for your brain to heal and start regulating your hormones properly. This is when you will start to notice some changes.
Remember that the body WANTS to function optimally … and when you give it all the right tools it will flourish with you. You will need to practice some patience, forgiveness & a lot of self-love and remember that health is a life-long marriage with your body … not a one-night-stand or a 12-week fling
... ain’t nobody got time for that!