There’s a generally accepted thought that, in order to lose weight, you need to cut calories and exercise more.
But while crash dieting may help you lose weight quickly, it can have a detrimental effect on your results at the gym. And one blogger has proved it – showing that a low calorie diet isn’t always the best route to getting a stronger, fitter, healthier body.
Madalin Frodsham, 27, from Perth, has always been slim, but she knew she wasn’t very healthy. So this year, she started a low calorie, low-carb diet and began following Kayla Itsines‘ Bikini Body Guide high-intensity workout plan.
After months of not getting the results she wanted, Frodsham consulted a nutritionist. And as it turns out, her 800 calorie diet wasn’t cutting it. She wasn’t eating enough macronutrients to suit her needs and consequently, she was sabotaging her fitness goals.
She wrote on Instagram: “When I was eating 800 calories a day, I thought I was healthy…For all the restrictions I was placing on my diet, I simply wasn’t seeing the results I had anticipated.”
So she spoke to her nutritionist:
When he first told me to eat 50% carbs I nearly died! I was eating about 10% carbs before and could not fathom how 50% carbs would not make me fat. I also freaked out at all the calories.
But, as she goes on to explain, by eating 50% more carbs and 1,000 more calories a day, she’s both happier and fitter.
While she hasn’t lost weight, Frodsham is visually stronger and more toned now.
I started at 52 kilos and I’m now 52 kilos … I have visible abs, biceps vying to be seen and a perky butt, so I’m not complaining. That’s not even to mention my mental health and how amazing and full of energy I feel every day.
If you’re under feeding yourself in an effort to lose weight, don’t do what I did for so long.
Don’t waste your time eating salad when you could be eating sweet potatoes and banana pancakes. Eat more and get fit. It actually works.
Not everyone is the same, though, and nutritionists recommend talking to a professional about a tailored healthy eating plan. But the general consensus between them is that restricting calorie intake to lose weight can (and most times will) backfire.
Dietitian Nikita Kapur told Self: “If your body gets fewer calories than it needs to function, it can go into a conservation mode where it tries to hold on to as much energy as it can.”
Nutritionist Robin Kaiden added that, if you’re body isn’t getting enough carbs, it will start burning protein in your muscles instead as an energy source. It goes without saying that will sabotage any effort you have to build muscle, strength and get toned.
Definitely something to chew on.