When a person chronically under feeds themselves they end up stuck in something I call it the “metabolic shit hole”.
I’ve had countless conversations with women about diet and the number of calories they should eat on a daily basis. I’ve tried to discuss proper nutrition and health but it was like talking to a brick wall. They just don’t get it. Almost every woman I have met under eats.
The reality is most women need to eat far more than they are eating. 1200 calories a day won't cut it. 1500 a day won't even cut it. Most women need a more than 2500 calories a day. I know this sounds like a lot but it's what you need.
You can learn about how I came up with that number in my article: Exactly How Much Should I Eat?
So let’s get back to the “metabolic shit hole”. If I require more than 2500 calories a day and I decide to only eat 1,200-1,500 calories a day, I should lose weight right? Be super skinny? Look good and achieve my goals? None of those things actually happen the way we want them to. I know many women who only eat 1,200-1,500 calories a day and don’t look or feel the way they desire. Healthy should feel good and if you don’t feel good you’re not healthy. It is as simple as that. For women, our bodies are super sensitive to diet changes and lack of calories because we have the beautiful ability to carry life. Because of this, our systems are hyper sensitive. If there is a famine then we cannot give our offspring the nutrients they need to survive. When a woman faces famine her hormones shut down to prevent pregnancy, our bodies want to hold onto as much fat as possible because if we do get pregnant, we will need that fat to protect the baby and make breastmilk (which is a fat driven process). So, our bodies want to conserve fat, we put weight on around our midsection, we get tired & cranky from a hormonal shift and we also want to conserve all of our energy so we become lethargic. This is the exact opposite of everything we are trying to accomplish at the gym. This is precisely what the “metabolic shit hole” is. You feel like garbage, you completely plateau and you’re unable to achieve your goals (lifting and aesthetically).
So now what? How the hell do we fix this?
First thing is to calculate exactly how many calories you need. Then you need to actually eat that much food. It can be mentally challenging to eat more food than you think you need especially when you have a weight loss goal. And what is even harder is that when you start to eat more to climb out of this shit hole, you will gain weight. This happens because you have starved yourself for so long that your body will want to put on as much body fat as possible. Don’t worry though. This is just a bit of short term pain for a long term gain. After about 3-6 months of feeding yourself properly that weight will all come off and then some. You will actually lose weight while eating more food. All of the hard work you are doing in the gym will start to show on your body. Even more important, you will feel healthy! How do I know this happens? Because I went through it myself. There was a point in my life I chronically under ate. At one point I was eating as little as 800 calories a day. I was in the worst metabolic shithole you can imagine. I began to eat more and pay more attention to my health and over the course of 6 months I was able to crawl out of it. I had my freak outs when I gained weight, I doubted the process but it worked better than I ever could have imagined. Now I love my body, I feel sexy, I am stronger than I have every been and I feel great. That’s where you want to be too. It’s where we all want to be.
So if you are in a metabolic shithole like I was I recommend jumping on the food train and take your scale out of the house. Who cares what you weigh. As I said before healthy should feel good. Don’t be a slave to your weight, or the calorie counter, and get yourself right. Give yourself 3-6 months to really adjust to the new lifestyle. Understand it’s a long term process. There’ll be some bumps in the road and won’t be easy but believe in yourself and trust the process. Before you know it you will need new clothes, you will be stronger than you have ever been at the gym, and you feel better than you have ever felt. If you want a six pack and a booty you need to eat!