Eating more is at the core of having the body of your dreams.
Eating to aCtuAlLy get lean, strong and fit doesn’t come by eating like a bird! But why eat more? How much more?
eat enough to keep hormones happy
Eating in a way that supports optimal hormone balance starts with eating enough calories. Ever notice that when you’re on a dieting stint, you feel colder or have dry skin or a wonky monthly cycle? Those messages from your hormones are basically saying, “Alert! More food needed!”
Following a macros approach doesn’t inherently lead to hormone balance, but most people find that eating a variety of whole, real foods rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals in PFC balance at meals does make tracking easier.
Here’s how to eat enough to prevent hormone disaster: Percent of calories coming from protein, fat and carbohydrates should be catered to your personal preference and activity level, but you’re looking for ranges such as 20-30% for protein, 25-30% for fat, 35-50% for carbohydrates to keep hormones happy.
eat enough to prevent hangry
You’ve heard advice to “eat less and move more,” which centers around a calories-in, calories-out model for weight loss. Well, what happens when you eat less? You get hungry. What happens when you exercise more? You get hungry. How long does that model last before inhaling take-out over the trash can when the kids go to bed?
What anyone who offers that advice fails to realize is that losing body fat to reveal strong muscles involves hormones, not just calories. Hormones are the messengers that tell the body to burn fat or store fat, remain full or feel hungry, have cravings or not, enjoy balanced energy or feel fatigued.
Here’s how to prevent hangry: Instead of opting for the largest calorie deficit possible across the whole week, opt for the smallest one.
eat enough carbs to protect fuel your workouts and protect lean muscle
HIIT, bootcamp-style workouts, metabolic conditioning and weight lifting require carbohydrates, which is why you were totally wilting in your workouts on that low carb diet!
Your body uses carbs stored in your muscles and carbs floating around in your blood to power you through your workout. Once you’ve used up that available glycogen and glucose, your body looks for alternatives. Carbohydrates are “muscle sparing,” which means when your body has enough of them, it won’t draw as many amino acids (protein) from muscle tissue for fuel.
Here’s how to eat enough to fuel: After you’ve calculated your carb targets with your preferences and training in mind, do a double check to see that your target is not lower than 1 g per lb of body weight.
eat enough protein to support fat loss, not muscle loss
Decrease calories and you might lose fat — or you might lose muscle. Increase calories and you might gain fat — or you might gain muscle. The type of activity you do and the amount of protein you eat can determine the outcome.
Bumping up protein means more satiety, a better body composition and a higher metabolic rate. Eating enough protein, probably more than you are, provides the body with the building blocks to gain and maintain lean muscle. Muscle mass takes up less space than fat mass – meaning you could easily look 20 pounds lighter than what the scale says.
Here’s how to eat enough to lose fat (not muscle): Calculated your protein targets with your personal preferences and training in mind, but do a double check to make sure your target is not lower than .8 g per pound of body weight.
Psst! The best way to use this information is to read it alongside my DIY Macro Guide! Think of this as your pocket companion guide.