Each day, in my fitness-filled life, I am surrounded by people working out like maniacs, literally every day, to reach their aesthetic goals. Though I do give them an “A” for effort, I can’t help but feel bad seeing them go through this vicious yo-yo cycle. Workout like mad person - Get little to no results - Workout even harder - Still little to nothing - and finally end up feeling defeated and worthless. This cycle is all to common for many people. But though the workout part is the same for all you workout junkies, I see two significantly different types.
The fitness junkie with the huge calorie deficit.
The fitness junkie thats got his/her head in the sand.
Let me tell you a story of a certain ginger you may know (umm…thats me), that went through this horrible cycle. Don’t worry…it has a good ending.
When I was in my late 20’s… I lost a bunch of weight through not-so-healthy means. Though I did in fact lose a lot of weight, I knew very little about nutrition, was malnourished, and felt like shit. I was also recovering from an eating disorder (bulimia), that has haunted me my entire teen and adult life.
I was a year or so into my profession as a fitness instructor and felt the pressure to look my best; so I hit it HARD. I strapped a body bug on my arm each day to track my calories burned, I tracked on my phone everything I ate. Before I tell you my daily stats, let me remind you that the average person burns between 1500-2000 calories per day. To lose or maintain a healthy weight, we should not have a deficit of bigger than 300 calories a day. Example.. If you burn 2000 calories a day, try to eat no less then 1700 calories a day. The goal - To become fat burning, muscle maintaining (or building), well-oiled machines!
- I burned - Apx 3500 calories (Spinning, running, triathlons, bootcamps..etc)
- I consumed - 1500 calories (High fat, High carbs because I was so tired.)
- My weight - 145lbs
- Body fat % - 30%
(Here's a seemingly happy, a bit more fluffy Carolyn.)
Folks… That is a 2,000 calorie deficit EACH DAY. You’d think that with that deficit, i’d be tiny right?! NOPE. I had over 12% more body fat than I have now…. I was exhausted all the time…. and I could not keep muscle on my body to save my life. I felt SO defeated, that my bulimia came back with vengeance. I literally needed a complete reset.
So, to not give you my whole epic story, lets get to the nuts and bolts here. What changes did I make to transform my body, heal from my eating disorder, and get healthy?
POST TRANSFORMATION STATS:
- I now burn apx 2500 a day. I stopped doing so much damn cardio.
- I now consume between app 2200-2500 a day. I started eating a little more, but more importantly, I made PROTEIN my top macronutrient.
- I meal prep every week so my eating disorder mind stays clear and stress-free.
- I started lifting weights.
- My Weight - 138lbs
- Body Fat % - 17%
BACK TO YOU
So I gave you my story so you could see the ugly truth of having a huge calorie deficit. But listen, most people that workout everyday, do so to compensate for not keeping track of their nutrition. “If I workout every day I should get results right?!”. Sorry…Nope.
Working out more, makes you want to eat more. When you increase one, you will increase the other. As I wrote about in a previous blog, your bodies “Set Point” is doing its job in sending you signals to eat after energy expenditure. If you want to look at why your set point seems to be off, read my blog!
The average person that works out each day, eats an additional 290 cals per day. Additionally, they are prone to eating more carbs and fats then is needed for the results they desire.
People who workout more, are less active during non-workout times. Many studies have shown the overall daily burn of those who exercise daily and those who don’t, is basically the same. The difference is that people who lead an active lifestyle tend to eat cleaner, and maintain more muscle, and therefore look and feel better.
So, friends…the answer is clear, and is the same answer you will always come to when delving into how to achieve success in anything you to. The answer is always BALANCE.
Workout to stay strong and healthy. Eat clean and watch your macros and calories. Get a ton of sleep. BE GOOD TO YOURSELF. And call me if you need help with any of this. Lord knows i’ve been there.