I stopped the restriction/hunger/obsession, not because I became enlightened or anything, but because the results were BAD. It was causing me to gain weight, look puffy, and feel exhausted. The harder I dieted, the sooner I experienced backlash from it and the worse the fallout. More dieting was never going to produce lean, happy, carefree, and weight stable. I tried it like seven thousand times to be sure.
You do not earn food through workouts or need a fast metabolism before you can eat adequately. It is absolutely the other way around. You eat enough first, and then you have energy to move and train, to problem solve, to be emotionally aware, to connect with people. When I was restricting and half starved all the time, I had two emotions: feeling good about not eating and feeling bad about eating. That is not living. That is a dimmed down version, made worse by the social isolation it requires.
Instead of thinking, "I could never eat that much because I'm not that active," when you see, fit, active women training hard and eating plenty, know that the eating came first. Otherwise they wouldn't have the energy for that lifestyle.
I look at it like eating enough gives me the energy to live the active, healthy, energetic way I choose, even if I'm not interested in spending an hour at the gym pulling sleds and flipping tires.
Delayed thought. I just watched the Natacha Océane video where she talks about eating 2,500+ calories per day, prioritizing sleep, and training for muscle.
How I Got Lean on 2500+ Calories
One of the things she mentioned when talking about metabolism is something almost nobody mentions. The heavier you are, the more calories you burn. When people underfeed themselves to lose scale weight at all costs, their workout suck, everything feels harder, they can't put forth as much physical effort and don't expend as much energy, even though training feels super intense. So, training is a grind, but you're not actually accomplishing much, and you get lighter, and your metabolism gets slower. Woooooh!
If you're getting stronger and eating enough food to fuel an active life, you may actually get heavier on the scale, your metabolism gets faster, your body looks leaner, but scale weight is not going down, and that's good.
Nobody promotes settling in for the long haul, losing a pound a month, eating plenty, enjoying the process. That may not sell, but it works!
Thank you so much for sayimg this over and over. I need the repeat exposure to let it sink in. It works so much better than restricting. I’m about 5 months into this eating enough and training consistently thing and am having noticeable results. I’m losing a pound or so of fat a month. I’m not hungry. I’m getting (alot) stronger. People are noticing. The crazy thing is that this actually works ?!?! I feel like I’ve been lied to my whole life. You just have to settle in for the long haul. Please keep banging the drum, leading the way for those of us who are still needing to check the other way 7000 more times!
"I would never give it long enough to level out. One or two days (or hey, even one afternoon!) of eating more than usual and I'd restrict again, telling myself all kinds of stories about why I was broken and couldn't be trusted."
I think this is where I am now...
Sometimes it seems like I'm eating a lot, or eating when I'm not "supposed to," or eating "too much" of something, but if I just go with my appetite, I'm far more satisfied and focused. Then in the days ahead I'm often less hungry, more interested in nutritious choices, and not thinking about food so much. It sorts itself out over days and weeks, which is what I didn't understand and what made it seem scary. I would never give it long enough to level out. One or two days (or hey, even one afternoon!) of eating more than usual and I'd restrict again, telling myself all kinds of stories about why I was broken and couldn't be trusted.
It took me the longest time to grasp how eating more was going to help me get leaner. It was hard to accept it because physics and all.
When you consistently feed yourself enough every day, you have energy to move, you engage with life, you think about things other than food, and it becomes easier to lose weight or stabilize in a good place. When you restrict, you more than make up for it, eventually. Maybe restriction seems to go ok for awhile, but it's like holding your breath. There will be gasping for food at some point, and that tends to undo any deficit you had going. The more you restrict, the more frequent and severe the gasping.