It is true that you need to create a calorie deficit to lose weight.
It is also true that eating less and exercising more are two ways to create that calorie deficit.
But trying to do both simultaneously is REALLY hard and possibly not healthy.
✔️ For one, strenuous exercise puts a lot of stress on the body and requires proper fuel and recovery.
By not eating enough, you are not fuelling your muscles for the hard workout ahead or allowing them to properly replenish afterwards. This may mean you don’t have enough energy to exercise as hard or as often as you would like, you risk burnout or injury, or your results are slowed.
✔️ Two, piggybacking on the last point about slow growth… The human body is very good at maintaining homeostasis.
So if you are working out hard and not fuelling properly – or if you are just not eating enough in general – your body will adapt by slowing metabolism down to preserve energy. This could mean you are barely eating but not losing weight because your body is holding on to the energy and not outputting as much energy.
It is also important to note that while we can have a general idea of how many calories we put into our bodies, it is near impossible to accurately know the rate at which each unique human body outputs calories (expends energy). Therefore, when we think about creating a calorie deficit, we must recognise that there will be some unknowns.
✔️ Finally, eating a lot less or exercising a lot more both require a structured plan and are very hard on their own.
Put two really hard things together and you risk not being able to do either. Determine which is more important right now (diet or exercise) and start there. This doesn’t mean you ignore the other, but don’t go for two extreme changes at once.
Which do you feel you need to focus on more right now: Diet or Exercise?