I’ve been following the online recipes for the past month or so and have found that I’ve actually gained 7 lbs. I started doing MyFitnessPal to track my calories to see what the hell was going on, and am finding that some of the recipes are super high in calories. A few examples are the breakfast smoothie (400cal) and the broccoli salad (800 cal per serving – luckily i split it into 4 instead of 2 lol). I understand that it’s healthy food but if I’m looking to lose weight, calories in and calories burned is what counts, right? Obviously I’m not a perfect eater and drink my share of wine on the weekends, so I’m not blaming the recipes, but just wanted to get your input. Thanks!
I’m sorry to hear you’ve put on weight this past month when you’ve been trying so hard to follow the plan. Ultimately you have to do what you’re comfortable with, but I am not a believer in the “calories in vs. calories out” theory, especially when apps like MyFitnessPal grossly underestimate how much you should be consuming as an active woman. Like the scale and Weight Watchers, MyFitnessPal fucks with your head, and makes you look at food as calories, points, and quantity, regardless of the quality and the positive effect it has on your metabolism and hormones. When I tried to stay within my ‘targeted caloric need’ I was not only crazy tired, but I actually put weight on because I slowed my metabolism so much. Not good when you already have a low thyroid like myself! Think of it like this: at the Doctor’s office there’s this range they want you to be within on the scale if you’re a certain height. If you’re over that range they say you’re overweight or even obese. It’s not right! Not every woman of the same height has the same build, bone mass, muscle structure, boobs, hips, and body fat percentage, so they cannot always be within a very specific range of weight and it most definitely doesn’t mean they’re fat. The same goes for calories/energy needed for a certain height. No program can tell you how many calories YOU should eat to lose weight for all of these things, because all it takes into consideration is your height, weight and age. It’s not a science – there’s so much more to it than that. We are all very unique human beings with very unique needs.
Through my experience, my gut feeling is that you weren’t eating enough before this change in routine, so your metabolism was quite slow. Years of yo-yo dieting can really screw with your metabolism but it’s not a permanent thing, so you can fix it. I’m sure you’ve heard that when you don’t eat enough you can slow your metabolism, and there is a lot of truth to this. The thing that sucks about it is that when you do start to eat the correct amount of food, you will in fact put weight on…but it’s only temporary as your metabolism adjusts and realizes it doesn’t have to store all this food for the next famine you place on it. If you’ve been following this for a month, you’re just at the cusp of getting past this and being able to eat as much healthy food you need until you’re full. It’s important to me that women start to see food as fuel rather than something they have to measure, weight and count. If you’re eating clean and healthy food, you can most definitely have 400 calories at breakfast (as you should regularly since you haven’t eaten for 12 hours!) and take down an 800 calorie lunch if the energy is needed. If you’re eating clean and your body is satisfied you’ll get full when it has enough calories, so maybe you’d get half way through the salad and be full anyway. The most important thing is that you listen to your body. I know this is very hard to wrap your head around because we’ve been ingrained to believe in the “calories in vs. calories out” theory, but if you can trust the process you won’t have to count calories again for the rest of your life. Once your body/metabolism gets over the fear that you’re going to yo-yo diet or not eat enough again, the weight will start to fall off as your metabolism adjusts and increases. It took me a long time to trust this, but I can tell you first hand that even with a low thyroid it’s the best thing I ever did for myself.
The most important thing for weight loss is that you’re not eating foods that you’re allergic/sensitive to, impedes your digestion, screw with your hormones, and fluctuates your blood sugar levels all day long putting you in fat-storing mode. All of that is covered in the meal plan unless you have a special allergy to something. You should be able to take down your wine on the weekend and not worry about it either. Beer perhaps not, but enjoy your wine…you’ll still get results!
So where does this leave you? You could modify/decrease your calorie intake and get some results again no problem, but you will likely have to continue doing this forever. Or, you could trust the process and that your metabolism is going to increase and all you’ll have to do is listen to your appetite and body if you’re eating clean foods. I don’t want to push you in one direction, but have to say I haven’t counted calories in years now and my relationship with food has improved drastically and the results that come with it are outstanding.
I know cognitively it’s important we understand things if we’re going to trust them, so I would suggest checking out KIMBERLY SNYDER as she has a couple books that are awesome and explain this in more detail. You can also check out THIS ARTICLE to read a little more about debunking the ‘calories in vs calories out’ theory.
After years of being told it’s all about the calories in vs. calories out I can more than appreciate your concern and hesitation. Not too long ago I felt the exact same way!
Showing you the real girls approach to a badass body,
Ashley Dale Grant