I’m Barely Eating But My Body Isn’t Changing. WHY?

The biggest mistake you can make is not eating enough.

If your body is in a caloric deficit for too long, it adapts. In this adapted state, your body decreases its metabolic rate as a survival tactic. It simply doesn’t know how long or how severe this calorie restriction will end up being, so it adapts by using limited resources.

Thus, you end up burning fewer calories. When it comes to fat loss, a caloric deficit is king. But when your metabolism is decreased in this manner, achieving a caloric deficit becomes extremely difficult.

If you feel like you’re killing yourself in the gym and barely eating a thing, yet you’re not seeing any changes in your body, you need to start eating more. The goal is to slowly introduce more protein packed food to allow your metabolism to recover. This recovery period allows you to increase the amount of energy your body needs to perform everyday tasks!  Meaning, you will be able to eat MORE to maintain your current weight and improve your performance.

Here are four major problems posed by existing in a consistent caloric deficit.

1. Dangerous Levels of Stress

Putting some stress on the body is good. In fact, it’s necessary if you want to force your body to adapt.

But not eating enough food for too long SLOWS your body’s ability to recover, adapt and ultimately improve.

This is why if you’re under-fueled you will see a plateau in your progress. Your body is too stressed trying to “survive” to be able to adapt and make the progress you want!

2. Tired, Sick and Injured

Putting your body under chronic stress increases your risk of injury.

Every time you train without eating enough to recover, you are just adding to the stress pool rather than helping remove from it!  

If you’ve been noticing more strains and pains, and they are lasting longer than they used to, this is your body warning you that you may not be getting what you need to recover.

3. Goodbye, Muscle

When your body is stressed, it releases hormones (chemical messengers) that help direct the rest of the body’s response to the situation. When stressed, the types of hormones released are typically catabolic, meaning they break down tissues like muscle.

In response to a stress like strength training, muscle breakdown is good. This breakdown paves the way for adaptation. But to actually get in an anabolic state that allows us to get faster, fitter and gain more muscle mass, we need to provide our body with the macronutrients it needs to repair the microscopic tears in our muscle fibers.

But if you don’t eat enough to allow your body to properly RESPOND to this stress, you deprive it of the building blocks and energy it needs to create improvement. 

Thus, your workouts are no longer building your body up. Even couch potatoes will lose weight when they eat under their energy demands. This is because eating under your energy demands forces your body to find fuel within itself to burn. When done right, this means turning mostly to fat. But when chronically under-fueled and overworked, it also means burning lots of muscle!

4. Not Losing Fat!

The science is clear. To lose mass, you need to be in a caloric deficit. This means burning more energy than you are taking in.

But when you don’t eat enough calories over an extended period of time, your body kicks into survival mode. Your body eventually adapts to the current state of decreased energy supply and figures out how to survive on that supply without continuing to break down tissues to make up for the deficit.

This adaptation of a slower metabolism is your body’s way of surviving and protecting the tissues (including the fat stores) it already has! Your body is smart, and it knows if you are not supplying it with enough energy, it better start conserving the stored energy it already has.

Not eating enough for too long means that you could see the very opposite effect of what you want in your body. Chronic under-eating is a stressor to the body. Stress hormones, like cortisol, increase the visceral storage of fat cells around your stomach, waist, and thighs.

When you are chronically stressed, eating more signals to your body that this “survival mode” is no longer necessary. This decrease in stress via increase in food allows your metabolism to recover. A recovered metabolism is a fancy way of saying you will be able to burn more energy both at rest and during any activity.

Simply put, by slowly introducing more food, your body gets out of survival mode and begins to operate in a more optimal manner—a manner where making the changes you want to see in your body again become possible.

Long story short, if you’re training hard but notice several of the following:  

Not seeing the gains you want.  

Have plateaued or declined in your training progress.  

Regularly feel fatigued, irritable or defeated.  

Have noticed a loss in muscle definition

Then it’s time to reconsider your nutrition!!

Do I Need to ‘Reset’ My Metabolism?  No, because you can’t “reset” a metabolism. However, you can help it run smoother by reducing stress.

If you’ve been under-fueled for too long, you need to alleviate some stress.  

What we do want to do is bring your body out of survival mode slowly by:  Gradually increasing caloric intake.  Increasing the frequency of your eating (especially if you’ve been skipping meals!)  Maintaining a balanced macro ratio matched to your activity level.  

When the body begins to recognize…“Hey, I’m actually going to be fed on a regular basis!”….it lowers production of stress hormones, increases the metabolic rate of every process your body performs, and allows you to finally recover and improve!  More calories in equals less stress, less stress equals a faster metabolism, and a faster metabolism equals more total calories burned. Science for the win!

Chronic under-fueling shortchanges your potential and your overall well-being.  There are healthy ways to change your body’s composition. But there are no quick fixes: cleanses, meal replacements and detox diets are all a scam.  It’s also important to realize that you should not be obsessed with a number on a scale!! 

Focusing more on how your clothes fit and how you’re performing in training, is a much smarter approach than basing whether you’ve succeeded/failed entirely on a number on the scale.

If you truly want to reach your performance and aesthetic goals, it takes time and consistency. Training along with fueling your body with MORE FOOD is going to lead you in the direction of the improved performance and aesthetics you’re striving for!

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5 reasons why EVERYONE should weight train

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The proof is in the people & now the “paper”.  All the fads & trends are a great mix to mundane routines as well as fun & challenging workouts, but at the end of the day WEIGHT training is essential & will get the job done & then some!!  Furthermore, working out with a trainer will guarantee you’re doing it right & will provide that fun, creative edge we all crave!  Check out this article I found & STOP MAKING EXCUSES!!

Some people believe that lifting heavy weights is only for a certain group of people and that lifting big isn’t going to be very beneficial for them.

However, the truth is that every healthy person can benefit from lifting heavy weights; no matter what their goals are.

By heavy weights I also mean “heavy” relative to the person lifting.

I’m talking about resistance training where a person is exerting themselves in the range of 4 to 10 reps before they need to put down the bar.

This type of training has many benefits which can help anyone grow stronger and fitter; whether their goals are to lose body fat, build powerful toned muscles, or excel in a given sport.

I’ve heard many women speak of being afraid to lift weights too much because they’re afraid of becoming “bulky” but this is only a myth.

1) Lifting Heavy Weights Is How You Give Your Body Definition

One of the most common myths in the fitness world is that of being able to “tone” your muscles by doing high repetitions with a light weight.

This will supposedly cause the fat surrounding this muscle group to be burned up and therefore give more definition and tone to the area.

However, there’s one major problem with this…

We can’t control where our bodies burn fat for fuel.

That’s why doing 1,000 sit-ups a day or holding a plank for an hour every morning won’t be enough to give you a six-pack.

You need to lower your overall percentage of body fat to a point where the muscles in your stomach, however strong they may be, are visible.

Unfortunately we just can’t make our bodies burn the fuel around our stomachs by working those muscles specifically.

The only two things we can do is grow those muscles to give them more definition and to lower our overall body fat percentage in order to show those more defined muscles.

Luckily there’s a great method for achieving both of those goals; lifting heavy weights in a range of four to ten reps.

Exercising our muscles in this manner is the most efficient way to make them grow and growing our muscles is the only way to make them chiseled and defined.

The other thing that lifting in this manner will achieve is making our bodies burn significantly more calories throughout the day as our bodies build and repair the muscles that we’ve been working.

This will ultimately help us to create a caloric deficit that we will need in order to lose body fat and because we are doing that while building our muscles we don’t have to worry about our bodies burning our muscles for fuel instead of our fat.

This makes lifting heavy weights one of the best ways to achieve the toned and fit look that so many people want.

2) Lifting Heavy Releases Human Growth Hormone And Testosterone

One of the best and often overlooked benefits of putting your muscles under the stress of heavy resistance training is that it causes your body to release human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone.

HGH is an essential hormone that is important for building your body and testosterone is not just for men either.

Testosterone is essential not only for muscle growth but bone density, body fat regulation, and possibly even staving off dementia.

Testosterone helps control insulin which in turn regulates how your body uses energy.

Insulin sensitivity is key to whether your blood sugar is turned into adipose fat tissue or is properly burned as energy by your cells or converted into glycogen by your muscle cells to use later.

By maintaining a healthy level of testosterone you are not only helping to maintain your lean muscle mass but also stave off extra unwanted body fat.

On top of that, testosterone is also involved in producing strong bones along with strong muscles.

3) Lifting Heavy Increases Bone Density

While we’re on the topic of strong bones it should be mentioned that the act of lifting heavy weights not only increases the strength of your muscles; it also increases the strength of your bones.

When we put our bodies under the stress of lifting and moving heavy objects we can feel all of our muscles straining with the effort of accomplishing our goal.

However, our muscles are not alone when they are pushing and pulling.

They’re anchored to our skeletal system.

When we lift a heavy object overhead our bones are also bearing the weight.

Because of this our skeletal system grows stronger and our bones grow denser and healthier.

This can have a huge impact on our quality of life as we grow older as well.

By building a strong and solid skeletal system we don’t have to be as nervous about entering old age.

This is especially important for women who have a higher statistical chance of developing osteoporosis.

By ensuring that your bones are strong and healthy you have much less to worry about though.

4) Improved Longevity And Quality Of Life In Old Age

For decades the health industry has put an emphasis on cardiovascular health as being paramount as heart disease continues to ravage our over-weight population.

However, muscular strength also has a major part to play in both how long we live and especially the quality of life that we enjoy when we’re older.

More and more medical professionals are seeing an aging populace that has more problems with performing simple physical tasks than with worrying about heart attacks.

Falling down and not being able to get up is terrifying and people who work in homes that specialize in caring for the elderly are more concerned about their patients having trouble getting in and out of their chairs or falling down and hurting themselves.

By putting an emphasis on developing a powerful musculature through weight lifting, and the strong and healthy skeletal system that accompanies it, we can help to ensure that we live longer and happier lives.

5) It’s Easier To Measure The Gains Which Helps Us Stay Motivated

One of the best parts about lifting heavy weights is that it’s very easy to measure your progress

The difference between being able to do 200 sit-ups and 250 sit-ups doesn’t really feel like much.

We don’t feel particularly stronger or look that particularly different from doing it.

However, when we’re lifting heavy weights we can gain a real sense of accomplishment when we move up to a heavier barbell.

When we go from pressing a weight 7 times to 8 times it feels like a real accomplishment and we can’t wait till we can do 9 reps.

This is a feeling that I find is easiest to achieve with lifting.

Nothing else can so easily motivate me and give me a sense of steady progress.

This in turn helps me to stay focused and working hard even when I’m tired.

I can clearly see my progress; both what I’ve accomplished before and where I hope to be in the future.

Conclusion

Ultimately, lifting heavy weights is one of the best things you can do for your fitness and motivation.

It helps you to:

Lose weight and look toned
Release HGH and testosterone
Strengthen your skeletal system
Increase longevity and quality of life in old age
Stay motivated in your fitness journey
So, if you haven’t already tried doing low repetition, heavy weight exercises in your routine go ahead and give it a try for a few months and see how you feel.

I guarantee your future self will thank you!

About the author: Conor Flynn is a fitness blogger and writer who specializes in helping busy parents and professionals stay fit even with a busy schedule. You can find him at his site here or on twitter at Conor@90MinutesaWeek.

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Healthy Living

imagehttps://www.mindbodyonline.com/blog/inspiration/healthy-living/5-surprising-new-superfoods#To truly be healthy you have to start from the inside. Being a mother of 2 young boys I feel that if I instill healthy eating habits and continuously introduce healthy food that some will actually stick and benefit them.

With that being said, I came across this article and thought I would share it. Stay healthy & fit if not for YOU for your FAMILY. Happy Mother’s Day!

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