We were meant to survive, thrive, & reproduce. Not have shredded abs. Our bodies are trying to survive. And our bodies are amazingly smart and adaptive to keep us alive.
In my nutrition coaching biz, CWA, we often see active people bust ass + not eat enough food. They have a history of endurance (ultra-runners, marathoners, cyclists, etc), CrossFit, Orange Theory, HIIT, Boot Camps, and often train 5-6x/week with no rest days (yikes)!
And on top of over-training, these people are chronically under-eating. This can be intentional or unintentional. It’s not uncommon to see people eating 1200-1800 calories/day, when they often need to be crushing >2500+ calories/day!
And sometimes these people are GAINING weight. What gives?
- This is when the body learns to get by with less calories in, and you become more efficient with your energy expenditure (you don’t burn as many calories). Our bodies want to feel safe and be in homeostasis. The body is extremely smart, adapts, becomes efficient, and learns to get by with less fuel.
- When fuel is low, your body will deplete hormones (thyroid + sex hormones). You might experience subclinical thyroid levels (where your thyroid isn’t optimal but your doc won’t diagnosis it), PMS symptoms, absence of your menstrual cycle, irregular cycles, low hormone levels, infertility, low libido.
- If you are in this spot, you will need to hang at a calorie level that reverses symptoms and allows your body to feel safe. Generally, we suggest you stay at maintenance for as long as it took you to get there BEFORE attempting a diet.
- We suggest you work with a qualified Registered Dietitian Nutrition Coach that has experience with Reverse Dieting. At CWA we work with clients to gradually add calories to get you to calorie/weight maintenance (no gain/loss) + reduced stress to support hormones and biofeedback.
- The body has to feel safe to get lean and stay lean.