Committed, or extreme?
TLDR at the bottom!
When you push your boundaries, things change. When you push too far, you break.
I often get the request for more cardio, fewer carbs, longer training sessions, or just fewer calories in general. This mindset is one that we have become accustomed to. The “if some is good, more is better,” mindset is all to common.
Of course I nearly always say no to the “give me more”, requests that flood my email daily. Why say no? I mean you would think I would be patting my clients on the back for the great attitude and beaming with pride from all the amazing progress pictures they are sending me. Calories in and calories out is a sure bet to fat loss, so what is the issue?
It just doesn’t work they way that people think it should. There is a point and time that what you are doing to improve your body, could be the very thing that sets you back. Too much activity, too few carbs/calories, or a combination of both is a recipe for disaster. We start off strong and sane, but then comes the impatience. Maybe you didn’t lose this week like you did the first two weeks, or maybe you did so great that you think if you just cut a few calories it will hurry it up even more!
Here is what you think happens.
Cut calories, lose fat.
Cut more calories, add cardio, lose more fat.
Here is what really happens..
First part of the extreme deficit you feel good and motivated because you are seeing results.
Rather quickly you start to notice a sharp increase in hunger- you ignore it (some hunger comes with dieting so this is normal resistance to change).
You start noticing that your lifting is suffering.
You start to slow down your everyday movements, with less twitching and fidgeting going on. Guess what that means? Your activity level (and daily calorie burn) has decreased to handle your lowered intake; because rather than eating enough to support your activity, your body has to change its activity to handle the lack of food. Results come slower. What is the solution? Cut more calories?
Hungrier than ever before (insatiable), your sex drive doesn’t exist, you are finding yourself a little edgy, your tired but can’t sleep, hair is falling out, nails are breaking, your hormones have significantly dropped in production, and you can’t lose any more fat. *Note that I said fat there, because at this point you are likely breaking down a fair amount of your muscle too (compounding the problem of course). If you let it go long enough you will have found the sure path to a big rebound, metabolic problems (possibly permanent), thyroid levels tanked, sex hormones imbalanced, and a poor relationship with food at best or eating disorder at worst.
It may seem like an exaggeration but I’ve seen it so many times.
Extreme behaviors are not sustainable, so the results will not be maintainable. The consequences will find you eventually. The slow road is the sustainable one!