How Much Should You Eat to Lose Weight?
When it comes to achieving true and lasting weight loss, the one question most people have is how much they should eat in order to effectively lose weight. The answer? Not too little and not too much. How is that for a clear response? Let me explain.
Don’t Eat Too Little
One of the first things people do when they decide to lose weight is restrict their calorie intake by either cutting out meals and snacks, reducing the calories in the foods they do eat, or both. While it may seem like this is the way to go to lose weight as calories taken in will be lower than calories expended, weight loss doesn’t happen by following simple math. When you severely restrict your food intake, your body goes into something called starvation mode. This is a biological mechanism that was put in place generations ago to keep our ancestors from starving to death during times of famine. In essence, your body slows down so it burns fewer calories, thereby helping you survive until the next time you are able to get food. While it may have once served a valuable purpose, most of us have access to foods with greater abundance today. Therefore, we no longer need this cushion in order to live to see another day. However, our bodies don’t realize this, so any food that we take in after it slows down is still largely saved as fat. If we continue to restrict our intake at that point, the cycle continues. This means that a majority of the calories we consume, even if they are in minimal amounts, tend to be stored on our body, making it harder and harder to lose weight even though we are barely eating enough to survive. So, does this mean that you should eat a lot of food as often as possible in order to effectively lose weight? Not quite.
Don’t Eat Too Much
Eating too much food provides just as negative results, but in a different way. Essentially, when you eat food, only a certain amount of the calories consumed will be burned off. All of the rest will be stored as fat on your body. This not only means bigger clothing sizes, but it can also affect your health as well. In fact, obesity has been found to contribute to potentially life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. This is why it is important to eat the right amount of food using proper portion sizes, such as those used when following the SlimPlate System. This ensures that you get enough food without eating too much, which helps you to get to and maintain a healthy weight.