When it comes right down to it, weight loss is all about calories in versus calories out. The thing is, even when you are trying to lose weight you need to make sure that you are eating enough so your body doesn’t go into starvation mode.
Of course you need to reduce your calorie intake when you are trying to lose weight, but sometimes people go a little extreme when limiting their calories and their bodies end up in starvation mode. When that happens, your body uses the calories it consumes in the most efficient way possible. It will hold on to fat and instead you will start to lose muscle and tissue. Your body literally thinks you are starving and it starts to protect itself.
If you are trying to lose weight and then have hit a plateau, it may be because you need to adjust your calories. For example, maybe you started at 1500 calories and you have been training for a 10k. You will need to eat more calories because of the amount you have been burning. The rule of thumb when it comes to exercise is that after you exercise you should consume half of the amount that you burned. So if you burned 300 calories, you should have a 150 calorie snack.
To find out how many calories I should be eating on a day-to-day basis I use a free website called Sparkpeople. With sparkpeople I count my calories and input my exercises for the day. The website will automatically calculated the minimum amount of calories I should eat if I want to lose 2lbs per week based on my height and weight. You just have to make sure you update it as you lose weight so that the calorie count is accurate.
It’s a pain to track all of your food sometimes, but I find it is so worth it. It’s very eye-opening when you sit down and see how much you are eating in a day. It can help you see how much you are over-eating and at what point in the day.