So you want to eat more..
‘How do you eat so much? How do you eat all that?’
Common questions a lot of girls get asked (including me!) when they post certain photos of food…
Now I bet you’ve wondered how some people can eat so much more than others and thought there’s no way I can eat that without gaining weight but the truth is you can! And there are ways to fix your metabolism if you’ve been eating so few calories for a significant length of time.
Our metabolism’s are clever, when we reduce our calories significantly we cause something called metabolic adaptation; this works both ways, when increasing and decreasing caloric expenditure and feeding.
I wont go into this too much but if you’d like to read/watch more about it look up Layne Norton (my hero) as he has so much good scientific information surrounding this topic.
The reason this topic is so close to my heart is because a few years ago, I was there, eating so few calories and not seeing results anymore, almost reaching a point of despair. It’s so important to remember that everyone is unique and that genetics, muscle mass, activity levels etc etc all play a MASSIVE role in this too!
But I want to share with you what worked for ME and what actually (scientifically proven!) works for a lot of people.
Lifting weights in order to build a greater muscle mass.
Why does this increase your metabolism I hear you ask? By changing your body composition, building more muscle and loosing more fat, you will burn more calories at rest. You will increase what is known as your BMR- Basal metabolic rate.
This is the amount of calories you burn by simply being alive.
BMR contributes to TDEE, your Total daily energy expenditure, along with your PA (physical activity), your NEAT (Non exercise activity thermogenesis) and TEE (Thermal effect of eating).
When reducing calories, these 4 elements all adapt in order to stop you going into ‘starvation mode’ and essentially keep you alive. These elements all suffer when you eat too little;
You’ll have less energy to perform physical activity, therefore burn fewer calories overall, you’ll have less energy to move around, you’ll be consuming less food therefore reducing TEE anyway.
So how does one reverse this?!
Slowing INCREASING your caloric input .. REVERSE DIETING
I know, this may sound totally alien to you especially as you’ve been trying to eat LESS in order to loose weight and society is constantly throwing this ridiculous fad diets our way, telling you to eat less and less but stay with me a second,
It doesn’t have to be a lot and it doesn’t have to drastic, it is a slow process by which you ADD calories in over a long space of time, quite literally the reverse of any diets we adopt.
The reason you don’t add a crazy amount at once is because your metabolism is already adapted to such a low number that introducing too much too quickly will more than likely cause fat gain as you will be overwhelming your metabolism; it simply won’t be able to process such a large amount all at once.
So by reverse dieting, you’ll be eating more, therefore have more energy, therefore lifting heavier, building more muscle, changing your body composition, adapting your metabolism week by week.
Does the cycle make sense?
Your mental attitude.
Think of food as performance fuel, as a wise Ben Coomber once said, do you not be afraid of it. The most important thing you can do is repairing your mental attitude towards food. Building a healthy relationship. Not one food is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ certain things are simply more nutrient dense than others.
What helped me do this is by adopting flexible dieting/ IIFYM (if it fits your macros) looking at foods as simply numbers to hit rather than coining them ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
But that’s a topic for a different day as I could talk about the benefits forever ..
So you’re reading this and thinking okay, I want to try this, i’m fed up of eating so little but where do I start?!
The first step is writing down or tracking your diet for about 5 days so you can gauge a rough idea of the calories you’re currently consuming (if you don’t know already) then use this at your starting point.
Different people will argue the actual amount to this but you can simply start by a 10-20% increase every fortnight.
Monitor your progress, go as slow as you need too. Find what works for you whether that be counting and increasing macros or simply focusing on increasing overall calories.
You may choose to increase by 10g Carbs and 5g Fat each week or each fortnight, remember to keep your protein consistent- if you want to know how much protein you should be eating then; CLICK HERE
Even though you will look the same, you will be heavier due to the increase in muscle mass you have gained. This is why the scale should be ignored! This is so important for your mental health too, you may feel uncomfortable and you may feel ‘heavier’ but listen to me when I say, you are MORE than just a number, body fat and the number on the scale does NOT define you nor give you self worth.
This process is so important for your health, eating so few calories for a long period of time can really be detrimental to your health and hormones therefore you really just need to be strong and stick with it.
You can do this, I know it may feel like you’re going against everything you’ve ever known at first but trust me, a few years from now you’ll be SO happy you gave it a chance and stuck with it.
Let me know what topics you’d like to read more about within this article and please share your thoughts with me as always.
All my love,