“Often times people think that because they are having steady (or even slow) success on a moderate program that adding more activity and eating less food will produce even faster and better results.
While it is typically true that faster results will come, you may not realize the cost associated with super speedy progress.
A few things to consider…
1. Faster metabolic adaptations. Basically this means that what you’re doing will catch up with you and will require you to do more and more activity or eat fewer and fewer calories for sub-optimal results. Don’t care? Who needs food anyway right?
2. You not only set yourself up for fat loss, but you are creating an environment that will cause you to lose lean body mass. You didn’t really want to be bulky anyway right? The only issue with that is that muscle isn’t the only thing you should put into that category. How about brain function? Your memories are still important to aren’t they? Bone mass? All of these things are affected.
3. Hormone levels. They will drop. All the sudden fat loss slows, you look skinny fat, you’re having monthly cycle nightmares, your irritable, your unbearably hungry, you’re not sleeping well, life looks a little more grey. Couldn’t be your behaviors though because you are just being healthy right?
4. You no longer have time to spend with your family/friends because you are so busy spending hours at the gym. In fact it has become a part time job every day. They don’t understand your dedication, so avoidance is best. Besides even if you had the time, who has the energy?
5. You have kids? All of the sudden they are looking down at their plates questioning if they eat too much, if they look fat at the swimming pool, and wonder if they should be embarrassed by the body that they see in the mirror. After all mommy/daddy said they are ugly about themselves and I have a belly too.
6. You can develop an eating disorder. Not everyone who suffers from eating disorders had a bad childhood or some kind of traumatic past. Food issues can be created by tight boundaries and dietary restriction.
7. It makes future fat loss attempts so much harder. It may be working for you now, but when you can’t add more activity and you can’t cut calories anymore you have to eat more. Likely you will experience a horrendous rebound as the body fights to bring itself back into homeostasis and find its set point. During that time you may end up even heavier than when you started as an attempt to protect you from future starvation. When you try to lose fat again, your body knows what is going on and will down-regulate your metabolism much quicker this time around.
Honestly, is what you see in the mirror ever good enough? Probably not. We are all striving for constant improvement, and that is ok. It is easy to get sucked into obsession though, because your results will never come fast enough for you. The problem is that the body doesn’t like to be forced and has a whole arsenal of tools to fight back.
Focus on progress and not perfection. When you get to keep your calories high because progress is still coming (even if it is slow) be grateful. More food is a good thing! You don’t want less and less and less. The goal should be eating as many calories as you can, doing as little cardio as possible, and still see some progress. Over time you will see the changes and be happy you stuck to it the healthy way.
It needs to be said that fast progress means something different for you than it does your neighbor, your friend, your cousin, your spouse. We are all wired differently and factors such as dieting history, dietary compliance, metabolic capacity, body weight, body fat, hormone levels, and genetics all play a part in the fat loss game. Never compare yourself to others because it is pointless. Take the slow road, because it is the sustainable one.”