Hooray, my least favorite topic ever – because the fitness industry already shoves the message down everyone’s throat to eat less, cut calories, be leaner, etc. But this is an important topic to discuss, so let’s get into it.
In order to see fat loss, you have to be in a caloric deficit and eat less than your maintenance needs. It does not matter how you eat to create that deficit. Keto, Carb Cycling, IF, Macros, it all works. You have to be in a caloric deficit (which often looks something like eating ~10%-35% below maintenance) and eat in a way you can consistently adhere to/stay consistent with. You don’t *need* to do cardio to lose weight. But you do have to be in a caloric deficit.
If you’re someone who’s chronically dieting and consistently eating below maintenance needs, you can actually become metabolically adapted to surviving on less calories. This is known as Metabolic Adaptation. This might look like the person that’s been consistently dieting and gains weight if they eat anything beyond ~1,000-1,500 cals. Or individuals working out 5-6x/week for 2-3 hrs a day, eating 1,200-1,800 cal, and gain weight if they try to eat more or try to exercise less. If you’re metabolically adapted, you are likely in a space where you won’t have much success manipulating body comp and seeing fat loss. Unfortunately we’re already not eating much food, so it isn’t really an option to drop food down to even less. It would likely be best to perform a Reverse Diet and slowly work your way back towards maintenance needs and give your body and hormones time to rest and recover.
You have to earn the right to diet. And a body has to feel safe to get lean and stay lean. As always, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about your medications, their potential side effects, and how/if they may be impacting you.
If hair is currently falling out by the handfuls, if your thyroid levels are super low, if your menstrual cycle is absent or super irregular, if you wake up multiple times a night, if you’re constantly dealing with food cravings, if you feel like hot garbage inside and outside the gym, if you have been eating consistently less than ~1800-2,000 cal the past few months … you might not want to be worrying about dieting right now.
At Paragon Training Methods, we provide evidence-based workouts for those who want to build muscle, enhance their physique, and look/feel damn good in 30-90 minutes. Your subscription grants you access to all 8 of our amazing workout programs, workouts deliver right to your phone via our custom app, movements are always linked to our Paragon Youtube channel, and you get on-demand 24/7 access to me, Bryan Boorstein, and our amazing team of coaches. You don’t have to kill yourself to look and feel great – we’d love to show you how!